Skip to main content

Full text of "The little Washingtons"

See other formats




[M EnZABETH W 



•I 



,1 : UNIVERSITY OF N. CAT CHAPEL HILL 

Hpf^i 00012999197 




THE LIBRARY OF THE 

UNIVERSITY OF 

NORTH CAROLINA 

AT CHAPEL HILL 




Wilson Annes 

ENDOWED BY THE 

DIALECTIC AND PHILANTHROPIC 

SOCIETIES 



THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2013 



http://archive.org/details/littlewashingtonOOroyl 






1/t^ 



^l^ 




WITH A WILD SHOUT THE WAR DANCE BEGAN. 
The Little Washinstons. FroJitispiece, 



THE LITTLE 
WA5HINGTON5 



BY 

LILLIAN ELIZABETH ROY 

AUTHOR OF 

THE POLLY BREWSTER BOOKS, 
THE GIRL SCOUTS BOOKS, Etc. 



ILLUSTRATED 



'vr A'fA *i^ 



GROSSET & DUNLAP 

PUBLISHERS NEW YORK 



Made in the United States o( America 



THE LIBRARY 

i«E uwvEBSrry of north c^brouna 

AT CHAPEL Hai 



Copyright, 1918, by 
THE PLATT & NOURSE COMPANY 



CONTENTS 

CHAPTER PAGE 

I. George and MAR-i^^HA .... 7 

II. Washington's Homestead Burns Down 24 

III. Punishments and Lessons . . 41 

IV. George Plans a Survey Expedition . 57 
V. The Surveyors' Camp ... 75 

VI. The First. Taste of Battle ... 92 

VII. How George Applied History . . no 

VIII. Delightful Imprisonment . • . 127 

IX. The Effects of Prison Life . o 142 



THE LITTLE 

WASHINGTONS 

CHAPTER I 

GEORGE AND MARTHA 

^^ AT ^' MARTHA, you can't play 

^^^ Lady Washington yet, 'cause 

we need you to be mother this 

time!" exclaimed a little boy of about 

eleven years, named George Parke. 

"But, George, when you told us all 
about this make-believe game, you said 
I could be Lady Washington, and wear 
curls and a train to my dress !" disputed 
the boy's sister Martha, who was about 
nine and a half years of age. 

"So you can, just as soon as we 
have played the first part, but we can't 
have a war and make me a general right 
off, before we grow up and show our 

7 



8 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

country what a fine young man I am^ 
don't you see?" explained George. 

"Besides, Martha, George Washing- 
ton didn't marry Martha Custis till af- 
ter he began to be a soldier, so some one 
must play his mother, Mrs. Washing- 
ton, to start with, and you are the only 
girl here," anxiously added a younger 
boy of about eight. 

"Well, if I play Mrs. Washington 
now, what will you be?" questioned 
Martha. 

"Me? Oh, I can be anything George 
says, until the time when we go to war 
and I am Marquis Lafayette," replied 
John Graham, the little boy who lived 
next door to the Parkes in the suburbs 
of Washington, D. C. 

"Well, all right! I s'pose I'll have 
to," sighed Martha reluctantly; "but it 
would be more fun to begin right 
where the general has to leave home to 
fight and you come over from France 
to help and Jim Jackson plays Her- 
cules!" 

"We'll get to that place in a few 
days, Martha! I'd rather play war and 



GEORGE AND MARTHA 9 

order John and my men about than 
make believe I'm your oldest son and 
living in the country — but things have 
to start at the beginning. You know 
what mother read to us this morning 
from Washington's memoirs — he al- 
ways believed in law and order, so we 
must act just as he would," explained 
George. 

"Then you must be very obedient, 
and do just what I tell you, George, be- 
cause he was a model son and very 
respectful to his mother," quickly added 
Martha, feeling a keen sense of joy in 
the prospects of making her indepen- 
dent brother do her bidding. 

"Humph! Washington wasn't home 
very long, you remember, after he left 
school to do surveying. So I won't 
have to be very obedient to you," ar- 
gued George, with dissatisfaction in 
his tone. 

"Even so, the real Washington was 
so dutiful a son that he always wrote 
letters to tell his mother what he was 
doing — and he always asked advice on 
things of importance. That's what you 



m THE LITTLE WASHINGTON^ 

must do of me!" declared Martha, lift- 
ing her head authoritatively. 

"Come on in the house, John — Fm 
going to get that big book mother read 
from this morning,'* said George, start- 
ing for the back porch. 

**rm coming, too, 'cause I want to 
borrow grandma's lace cap and a pair 
of specs," crie^ Martha, as she ran 
close at the boys' heels. 

While the three playmates are in the 
house, let me tell you what all this plan- 
ning was about. 

George and Martha Parke were con- 
nected in a distant way with the Parke 
and Custis family of long ago. Of 
course you remember that the father of 
his country, George Washington, mar- 
ried the widow Martha Custis, who was 
later called "Lady Washington"; and 
that was the subject of the conversation 
between the children when this story 
opened. 

George and Martha Parke lived in 
a lovely house surrounded by ample 
grounds, a short distance from the cap- 
ital of the United States — Washington. 



GEORGE AND MARTHA 11 

And in the neighboring house lived a 
little playmate, John Graham. Then 
there was a family of cousins, who lived 
a short distance from the Parkes — ^just 
near enough to allow the children to 
run back and forth for visits without 
the parents worrying over their safety. 

As is customary in many old South- 
ern families, devoted family servants, 
descended from slave days, are retained 
generation after generation. These 
faithful colored servitors marry into the 
staffs of their own or neighboring fam- 
ilies, and the children that are born are 
educated and trained by the family 
whom they serve. 

In the Parke household descend- 
ants of the old slaves could be found. 
Jenny, the cook, had married the butler 
of the Graham household, but re- 
mained with the Parkes while Sam still 
lived with the Grahams. A little boy, 
Jim, was the only child of this couple, 
and he was being seriously considered 
by the Parke children to play the part 
of Hercules, the famous cook of the 
Washington family. Jim was about 



12 [THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

seven years old, and owing to the con- 
stant companionship of his granny, 
who was the old family nurse of the 
Parke children, he had acquired much 
of the interesting dialect peculiar to 
the old Southern slaves, and still notice- 
able in genuine descendants of these 
good, faithful servants. 

About the time this story opens, the 
Parke and Graham families had but 
recently returned from their country 
farms where the summers were spent, 
and studies and recreation were again 
resumed by the children. George 
Washington always was a great favor- 
ite in American History for the chil- 
dren since Mrs. Parke began reading a 
very interesting book of his life to them, 
and they conceived the idea to pretend 
the whole story as it progressed day after 
day. 

Every afternoon was playtime, and 
the children were free to follow this 
plan of amusement: Grandma Parke 
eagerly abetting the suggestion by of- 
fering bits of lace and silk, a shawl and 
other properties, to make the game 



GEORGE AND MARTHA 13 

more realistic. As grandma was very 
proud of her ancestry, she was de- 
lighted to hear of the "make-believe" 
general's scheme and at once began 
planning how she might add to the in- 
terest by making a cocked hat and cos- 
tume for George, a dress and other 
requirements for Martha, and suitable 
toilettes for Lafayette and Hercules. 

But here come the children, so we 
must stop talking of their plans until 
some other time when they are not 
present. 

"Here, John, you sit down on this 
cushion, while Martha sits on the lawn 
chair and makes notes of what we need 
to do in our game. I'll read from the 
book so's it'll be all true and right," 
commanded George, as the three chil- 
dren reached a group of birches grow- 
ing at one side of the back lawn. 

George hastily thumbed the pages 
at the first part of the book and finally 
found the special page for which he was 
seeking. 

"Now, here it says: 'George Wash- 
ington was born at the old homestead 



14 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

of Wakefield, in Westmoreland Coun- 
ty, in Eastern Virginia. He was the 
oldest child of a family of six children 
— George, Betty, Samuel, John Augus- 
tine, Charles, and Mildred. The latter 
died in infancy.' " 

"Oh, we know all that, George, so 
don't lose time reading it. We want 
to start the play!" cried Martha, who 
felt impatient at being obliged to 
listen to her brother's expressionless 
reading. 

"Well, I was only going to say that 
one day, while good Madam Washing- 
ton was raking dry grass and stubble 
in her garden, she thought to burn it, 
and in this way set fire to her home 
and burned it down. It says that the 
servants helped her fight the flames, but 
only succeeded in saving a few things. 
Now I thought we could start our fun 
by having Martha do that. I can be off 
somewhere on business — just now I am 
Mary Washington's husband, you 
know, and John will have to play 
George, the son. What do you say?" 
and George watched the growing en- 



GEORGE AND MARTHA 15 

thusiasm in the faces of his audience. 

"O-oh, say, George, can't we go 
down to the back fence and build a 
shack or something? Then Martha 
can really rake the dry weeds and stuff 
left in the vegetable garden, and when 
we burn it in a bonfire we can burn the 
house, too !" exclaimed John, ever ready 
for mischief. 

"Of course! That is what I expect 
to do!" returned George, who never ad- 
mitted that any one ever thought of a 
brilliant plan that he too had not had 
the same inspiration. 

"Comx on, Martha — let's hurry!'* 
urged John, now imbued with the idea 
of having a big bonfire. 

The three children started off for the 
extreme end of the property where the 
high picket fence divided the Parke 
truck garden from that of the Graham 
place. They had not gone more than 
a dozen yards, however, before a shrill 
whistle came from the area leading 
from the basement of the house. 

"Whar yuh goin'?" called a picka- 
ninny eagerly. 



16 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"Goin' to play Washingtons !'* 
shouted John. 

"Kin Ah come an' play?" begged 
the bow-legged little Jim, running as 
fast as he could across the grass. 

"Oh, say, George, we got to have a 
servant, you know, to help Madam 
Washington put out the fire!" ex- 
claimed John, turning to George. 

At that, George turned and called to 
Jim, "Yes, I was jus' thinking of send- 
ing for you to come and play." 

So with a wide grin that showed 
every glistening white tooth in his 
large mouth, Jim followed breathless- 
ly after his young master. 

Arrived at the place that offered such 
a fine site for their homestead and the 
destructive fire, the four children stood 
and looked about, then at each other. 

"There's noffin to burn," remarked 
Jim grumblingly. 

"Then we'll have to go to work and 
build something. You see, George 
Washington would never stop at such 
trifles!" bragged the youthful George. 

"I know where there's a pile of olH 



GEORGE AND MARTHA 17 

bean-poles our gardener left after tak- 
ing out the dry vines," ventured John. 

"You do! Where?" exclaimed 
George and Martha in one voice. 

"Do you s'pose any one wants them 
again? We've done with them for this 
year," wondered John, not quite per- 
suaded. 

" 'Course not ! Bean-poles aren't 
much account for anything, and every 
year we get new ones. I'm quite sure 
— don't we, Martha?" said George, 
turning to his sister to sponsor this, 
doubtful act. 

"Where do you keep them, John?" 
parried Martha, wishing to find out 
how much risk there might be in trans- 
ferring them from one side of the fence 
to the other, before committing herself 
to the plan. 

"I'll go and get them — if Jim will 
help — and we won't have to bring 
them over here. We can build the 
house right by the fence and Martha 
can have the fire on this side of the 
fence in the cornfield here," suggested 
John. 



18 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

Now this was a wonderful idea that 
George could not claim as original 
with himself, so he objected to its pos- 
sible success. 

"Let's build half on your side and 
half on ours. We can use some of the 
poles and brush from our garden for 
this half. If you have most on your 
side, that can be the house, and ours 
can be the extension at the back of the 
homestead, 'cause that is always much 
smaller." 

"Fine! Come on, Jim, and help me, 
while George and Martha build their 
kitchen end," gleefully called John, 
climbing over the fence as easily as if 
it were a ladder. 

Jim scrambled after, his bent legs 
showing fearfully uncertain as he 
mounted the strong post at a section 
of the fence. Soon the two were out 
of sight behind the still standing high 
corn-stalks, and George with his sis- 
ter began to collect the brush that had 
been used for the peas that season. 

After many trips to and from the 
garden, loaded with tiresome burdens of 



GEORGE AND MARTHA 19 

brush and bean-poles, all four patriotic 
plotters met again at the fence-post to 
discuss further developments. 

"Now we've got everything, how are 
we going to build the house?" queried 
John. 

"I guess I'll have to go to the tool- 
house and ger a shovel and some string. 
We'll have to have string to tie on the 
roof and sides of the house, you know," 
ventured George. 

"Ah got a hank o' yarn," offered Jim, 
taking a snarled bunch of knitting 
wool from his loose breeches pocket. 

"Good! Here, Martha, you sit down 
and unravel this tangle while I go to 
the tool-house. Say, John, why can't 
you get a shovel and pick, too? We've 
got to stick those poles in the ground, 
you know, to tie the brush on after- 
ward," said George. 

"Why can't we use the fence for a 
wall and lean the poles up against it 
from both sides? Then the brush can 
be stuck in between the poles. What 
difference will it make whether the 
house is up straight or leans against 



20 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

somethin' as long as it is goin' to burn 
down?" argued John. 

"If we have a homestead, we're go- 
ing to have a good one. It will make 
our sorrow deeper if we lose the home 
so unexpectedly through the careless- 
ness of Martha," replied George, 
which spoke well for his innate desire 
to do everything well. 

"I wasn't careless at all! It was an 
accident. The book says: 'Madam 
Washington was clearing away the 
trash from her garden when in some 
way' — ^maybe the wind blew a spark 
inside a window — 'the homestead 
caught fire.' Now I won't play if you 
make me burn it down through care- 
lessness!" pouted Martha. 

"Oh, don't get cross, Martha! Have 
it happen any way you like, only let's 
hurry and build the house or it'll be 
dark before we have a fire !" cried John 
impatiently. 

So Martha sat down to do the impos- 
sible — unravel the snarl of Jim's yarn — 
and two of the boys ran to the 
Grahams' barn, while George hurried 



GEORGE AND MARTHA 21 

to his father's shed for the necessary 
implements with which to work. 

Work as fast and as hard as they 
could, it took all the rest of the after- 
noon to dig holes and firmly place 
enough bean-poles in a square on both 
sides of the fence to make the walls of 
the house. Then the roof had to be 
fastened on. ^ For this, the picket fence 
provided a splendid resting-place. It 
was used as the ridge-pole, the bean- 
poles leaning on it on both sides of the 
house, and slanting down to the poles 
of the side-walls. The roof-poles were 
tied with twine, yarn, manila rope, 
white string and any other material the 
boys had found in the barns. 

"Now we're ready for the brush- 
wood. I wish we had wood to use, 
it would look so much more real," 
said George, admiring the frame-work 
of the homestead to be. 

"Oh, don't waste time wishing that! 
Come along and work," exclaimed 
John. 

The brush was stuck in between the 
poles and placed on the roof, when 



22 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

the supper-bell was heard ringing from 
the back porch. 

"Oh, pshaw! We can't burn the 
house to-night!" sighed John. 

"I know what! Let's bring some fur- 
niture here, and Martha can have her 
dolls and doll furniture to-morrow 
afternoon. Maybe Jim can get a 
sprinkling-pot or some pans for us to 
use in trying to put out the fire. If 
the dolls are sleeping in the house, and 
we have to rush in to save their lives, 
it will make all the more fun. What 
do you say?" cried George. 

"Just the thing if Martha will do it," 
added John eagerly. 

"Of course I will, but you must 
promise to save them all," agreed 
Martha anxiously. 

"That's just what we intend doing! 
While Jim saves the furniture, and 
John runs with water, I will go bravely 
in and bring out the children safely. 
Then you all must say how noble I am, 
and that some day I will be a great 
hero — see?" 

Evidently John saw, for he sulked 



GEORGE AND MARTHA 23 

as he grumbled "good night," feeling 
envious of the coming hero. And Jim 
felt very much awed at the tones and 
manners of his young master, while 
Martha, her motherly instinct for the 
dolls' safety uppermost, ran back to the 
house with fearful forebodings in her 
breast. 



CHAPTER II 

Washington's homestead burns down 

i^^^HILDREN, what is the matter 
\^ with you to-day? I have tried 
to hear your lessons all morn- 
ing, but you persist in mumbling about 
Washington's boyhood experiences in- 
stead of reciting correctly the chapter 
of the Civil War, which I wished you 
to memorize!" exclaimed Mrs. Parke, 
as the two scholars sat in her morning- 
room with school-books opened before 
them. 

"Mother, it must be the lovely 
autumn weather that's got into our sys- 
tem. Could you sit and study when 
everything was so wonderful out- 
doors?" said George, looking longing- 
ly at the back lawn. 

Mrs. Parke laughed, but she re- 
plied, "I will certainly be glad when 
the rainy season comes, in October, and| 

24 



fTHE HOMESTEAD BURNS 25 

with it your teacher. Then you'll 
have to attend to school hours instead 
of wheedling mother into excusing you 
from lessons because the day is so 
fine!" 

"Does that mean we may go?" cried 
Martha eagerly. 

"Yes, for-^this once more. It is al- 
most luncheon time, anyway," said 
Mrs. Parke apologetically to herself. 

It was not two moments thereafter 
that both George and Martha were out 
of the cheerful room and flying through 
the hall. 

"Got your dolls?" called George. 

"Yes, and the cradle and bureau with 
their clothes are on the back porch," 
responded Martha, as she ran to her 
room for a gingham bungalow apron 
that would serve for a long dress, in 
which to play her part. 

"Leave everything on the porch and 
we'll hurry through lunch first," or- 
dered George, as he piled a broken 
chair, a legless table, and several 
pieces of broken crockery under the 
steps of the rear piazza. 



26 rHE LITTLE WASHINGTONS' 

Luncheon over, the two children 
crept down the area steps to recon- 
noiter for Jim. The latter, sitting on 
a stool eating his bread and milk, lost 
no time in gobbling the last few spoon- 
fuls and running after the two beckon- 
ing tempters. 

"Ise foun' a scrub-pail wid a hole 
in its bottom, an' mammy give me a 
leaky quart measure she kep' garden 
seasonin' in in de pantry. Heah dey 
am — unner de lilac bushes," whispered 
Jim, looking timidly over his shoulder 
for fear his mammy might hear and 
suspect the awful plot. 

Laden with furniture, fire-apparatus, 
and children, the three early settlers ran 
across the grass to the comparative pro- 
tection of the hedge that bounded the 
wide pathway to the barns. But once 
out of sight of the house and the alert 
kitchen-folk, the three arch-plotters 
again crossed the grass to avoid the 
watchful eyes of Mose, the gardener. 

"Ah," sighed George, as they found 
the newly-built homestead as they had 
left it the night before. 



THE HOMESTEAD BURNS 27 

"It looks kind of queer in daylight !" 
commented Martha, who had been pic- 
turing the wonderful building to her- 
self ever since they left it in the twilight 
when all things appear better than they 
do in the glare of the sunshine. 

"Queer! I don't see why!" defended 
George, who was annoyed at his own 
silent criticism of the building. 

"It looks jus' lak a brush pig-sty my 
daddy built fer Grahams' farm, las' 
yar," ventured Jim. 

Had not a cat-call announced John 
Graham's approach, it is hard to say 
what might have happened to weak- 
kneed little Jim at his daring compari- 
son. But John came panting to the 
fence, burdened with various articles, 
prominent in the medley being a rem- 
nant of lace curtain. 

"I got this to hang on a window, so 
we can throw a burning stick in, and 
ketch the lace on fire !" explained John, 
taking the old piece of net and holding 
it at one of the many apertures made 
by the scarcity of brush covering the 
poles. 



78 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"Just the thing!" declared George, as 
he revelled over an empty scabbard, 
broken and useless, but fine for a man 
to use when riding through a forest 
filled with hostile Indians. 

"An' this old pistol I found on the 
library wall, is a relic of the Revolu- 
tion, pa said one day to a visitor. I 
knew it was just what I could use to 
warn our neighbors that we need help," 
explained John. 

"I'd better use the pistol, too, 'cause 
if you're George Washington when he 
was a boy, you couldn't handle fire- 
arms, you know," ventured George, 
doubtful of the reception his sugges- 
tion would have. 

"I just guess not! I had to climb up 
the mantel in the library for it when no 
one was around, and then hide it un- 
der my bed-sheet all night, so's I could 
bring it here to use. Now I'm not go- 
ing to let you play with it !" cried John 
emphatically. 

"Oh, all right, then, if you think 
young Washington acted like that to 
his father! Why, every one knows he 



THE HOMESTEAD BURNS 29 

was so good and obedient that his 
father said he was a model son," argued 
George. 

"Well, I'm not George and I got 
the pistol, so there!" 

"Boys, please stop fussing and let's 
play! My dolls and furniture are 
waiting in the homestead," said Mar- 
tha, as she came from the impromptu 
home, leaving the children inside wait- 
ing for the fiery ordeal. 

"Da's what Ah say, too, bo's !" grum- 
bled Jim, who had great expectations of 
running madly from the pump near the 
barn with his pail of water to put out 
the fire of the burning house. 

"Come along, then," said George, 
taking a length of twine from the fence 
to fasten the scabbard about his waist. 

"Now, Martha, you must be in the 
house when I come up and talk. Jim 
can be working in the garden and John 
can be saying good-by before he rides 
to the town for mail, or somethin'!" 
directed George. 

"Remember, you must try to save the 
children and the house, Jim, the min- 



30 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

ute you see the fire start. You see, I 
am very calm and self-possessed, so I 
won't cry for help or even call 'Fire!' 
Now don't forget you're a slave, and 
will do all you can to save the prop- 
erty," admonished Martha, shaking a 
finger at the awed Jim. 

"Yas'sam!" gasped Jim, bobbing hig 
head as he had seen his granddaddy do 
to the elders of the Parke household. 

Martha crept in under the opening 
in the bean-poles that was politely 
termed the "doorway," and then sat 
down to rock the cradle holding her 
five dolls. 

Jim was sent to dig and rake in the 
stubble near the brush house, and 
young George came up to speak to 
Madam Washington. Just as he crept 
inside the place, Martha said: "Oh, 
dear me! Who remembered to bring a 
match to start the bonfire in the gar- 
den?" 

No one had, so John said: "I'll gal- 
lop on my make-believe horse to the 
house and see if I can't find some in 
the hallway." 



THE HOMESTEAD BURNS 31 

"Well, then hurry up, or all our fun 
will be spoilt!" said George. 

While John was absent, Martha ar- 
ranged the interior of the house, plac- 
ing the dilapidated articles of furniture 
in the scant space provided for them, 
but the cradle holding the dolls she left 
standing near the fence-post that held 
up the entire pole building. Had she 
been more experienced, she would have 
placed the cradle near the open door 
where Jim could quickly rescue the 
children, leaving the furniture for a 
second trial. 

George and Jim piled up a great heap 
of dried corn-stalks and pea-vines, also 
some pole-bean vines dry and brittle 
and very inflammable. Then John was 
seen running back along the worn foot- 
path beside the fence, until he reached 
the place where the boys generally 
scaled the dividing line from each 
other's properties. 

"I got two — all I could find! These 
were on the stand where the girl must 
have left them last night, after lighting 
the hall gas," cried John breathlessly. 



32 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"Now, all ready — I will say good-by 
to Madam Washington and leave for 
the business with the Indians/* said 
George, as he stopped at the doorway 
to wave his hand at Martha. 

"Good-by, Mr. Washington — and do 
come back soon," giggled Martha, 
watching George leave the homestead 
and climb on the high fence where he 
played he was riding a horse away 
from the farm. 

Now Martha came out and called to 
Jim, "The children are sleeping, so I 
will clean up the yard." 

Thus saying, she turned to laugh at 
John who was waiting behind a tree to 
see the fun begin. 

She took the rake and cleared up 
some dry grass and leaves, then sent 
Jim indoors to pretend he was work- 
ing in the kitchen. Obedient as usual, 
Jim did as Martha ordered and sat 
cross-legged on the ground waiting for 
other orders. 

Martha struck the match and lit the 
bonfire, but so swiftly did the fire lick 
up the dry stubble and leaves that she 



THE HOMESTEAD BURNS 33 

could not reach out for a bit of burn- 
ing wood to fling in at the lace curtain. 
Instead, great fragments of flaring tin- 
der blew directly over the brush house, 
instantly igniting the dry twigs and the 
corn-stalks that had been placed on the 
roof. 

"Oh, oh!" screamed Martha, thor- 
oughly frightened, "save the dolls and 
the cradle — some one — quick, quick!" 

John stood petrified by the tree, and 
George, who had jumped from the 
fence when Martha was ready to light 
the bonfire, had hidden back of John's 
corn-bunched stalks, since he was sup- 
posed to be away. 

"Whar am dey. Miss Marfa?" cried 
a little coughing voice from under the 
burning roof. 

"Oh, oh, sakes alive! Jim's in that 
fire!" screamed Martha, clutching 
wildly at her hair, and dancing up and 
down in a frenzy. 

"What — oh, what can we do? Jim! 
Jim ! can't you come out of that hole?'* 
yelled John, when he found the door- 
way had collapsed. 



34 THE LITTEE WASHINGTONS 

"Fse lookin' fer Miss Marfa's chil- 
luns! It's so smoky Ah cain't see nuf- 
fin!" wheezed Jim. 

"Come out — come out! Oh, come 
but, Jim ! Never mind the dolls !" cried 
Martha hysterically, running back and 
forth as near the hot fire as she dared. 

Now George had heard his sister's 
first terrified call but thought she was 
pretending, so he laughed to himself at 
the great fun they were having. But 
the moment he heard John's distressed 
yell, he knew something had gone 
wrong, so he ran out and saw the red- 
hot fire which was wreathing the home- 
stead. 

He scrambled over the fence, tearing 
a great rent in his clothing as he did so, 
and rushed up in time to hear Martha 
scream for Jim to come out. Instantly 
realizing what had taken place, George 
looked about, but saw no other way to 
run in and try to save his "slave." 

With not a thought for his own 
safety, George tore away some of the 
brush still unignited and forced his way 
between the bean-poles. Jim stood 



THE HOMESTEAD BURNS 35 

holding the dolls tighdy clasped in his 
arms, coughing violendy and eyes shut 
tight with the smart of the smoke and 
heat. 

George grabbed him, and pushing 
him toward the opening he had forced, 
shoved the rescuer of "the children" 
out through the aperture. John, as 
brave as George, but not with the same 
presence of mind, rushed up and 
caught hold of Jim just as he stumbled 
blindly over a burning pole and would 
have fallen. 

George managed to get out after Jim, 
but the brush was already burning, and 
he singed his hair and hands in trying 
to ward off falling flares of fire from 
the roof. 

The dolls' fluffy dresses were burning 
as John half-dragged Jim out of the 
danger zone. Martha snatched the 
burning toys away from Jim's spas- 
modic hold, and threw them on the 
ground far enough away to let them 
burn without risk to anything more 
valuable. 

George knew enough to smother his 



35 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

smoking hair with his coat, which he 
had quickly pulled off. But his blis- 
tered hands were so painful that he 
almost cried out with agony as he man- 
aged to whip out the creeping fire with 
his coat, when he saw the menace to the 
dry corn-field, and possibly to the barn, 
all filled with hay and fodder for the 
winter. 

But the children had forgotten that 
the bean-pole homestead was built 
about the fence, until they turned from 
the more urgent needs of keeping the 
fire from spreading, to behold the 
picket fence burning along rapidly and 
shooting sparks at the dry shrubberies 
and trees near the corner of the bound- 
ary lines. 

"Run, George, and call Mose to help 
us!" cried Martha, heart-broken over 
the loss of her beloved dolls and the 
awful-looking hands her brother 
worked with. 

"Let me run — some one take Jim 
home to have his mammy tie up his 
face and hands," shouted John, off like 
a rocket. 



THE HOMESTEAD BURNS 37 

George remained alone, still beating 
with his now shred of a coat, at every 
shooting flame that tried to get at the 
dry stubble in the garden. 

But the families of both houses had 
seen the column of smoke and had 
heard the excited cries of the children 
as th^ fire so unexpectedly licked up 
everything about them, and every one, 
from the baby to grandma, ran to the 
scene where the smoke rose. 

With hand-grenades, water buckets, 
a garden-hose, and every possible 
device for extinguishing a fire, both 
families worked and advised until the 
fence was merely a blackened line of 
ashes. Several of the fine old trees had 
suffered severe scorching, and the 
shrubs were completely destroyed by 
the fire. 

Besides these casualties, George was 
badly burned, Jim's woolly pate was 
crisped so that the short, tight curls 
came off in his mammy's hand, and 
John and Martha were burned here and 
there by flying brands. The family of 
pet dolls, the cradle and bureau of 



38 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

dresses were mere memories for Mar- 
tha; and to cap the climax, the four 
would-be actors in history were sternly 
reproved and punished for days follow- 
ing, by keeping them apart. 

Mr. Graham found the old horse-pis- 
tol on the ground behind the tree where 
John had dropped it in his fright, when 
Martha screamed for help to save Jim, 
and he shook his head, murmuring as he 
did so : 

"I wish I could impress these chil- 
dren with the danger of playing with 
firearms and make-believe fires. Of 
course this antique pistol is not loaded, 
but they were not aware of that." 

Then Mr. Parke called upon Mr. 
Graham the night of the fire and had 
a serious talk with him. 

"Really, Graham, I am at my wits* 
ends about those children. Why, not 
only could they have set fire to the 
barns and other out-houses, but little 
Jim might have been roasted alive in 
that brush heap if George hadn't risked 
his own safety to rescue him." 

"I have been thinking over the cir- 



THE HOMESTEAD BURNS 39 

cumstances,Tarke, and I find that tHese 
children are about the same as we were 
when we were young, only they play 
with fire and guns and we played rob- 
bers and Indians. One is as bad as the 
other when it comes to danger of life 
and limb, and at this advanced day, 
youngsters ought to be taught the haz- 
ards of such fun. Now, how did John 
know that gun was safe to play with? 
Might it not have been loaded or 
stuffed with an old load that would have 
exploded accidentally and caused great 
harm?" 

"Well, I must begin to teach the chil- 
dren the great risk of playing with 
matches, or starting bonfires, as both 
are so dangerous. The only proper 
place for fire is in a stove or when 
carefully watched by expert grown-ups. 
And as for matches! Well, no child 
ought to be permitted to handle them 
at all, as they begin to feel too familiar 
with the treacherous little stick. Just 
see all the pain and trouble caused by 
having two stray matches on the hall 
table," added the other man. 



40 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

So the result of the fire "was, that not 
only did the parents take greater care 
in teaching the children not to touch 
matches, firearms, or fire of any kind, 
but the servants, also, were warned 
about carelessly leaving anything 
around that might tempt children to 
have a "make-believe" fire. 



CHAPTER III 

PUNISHMENTS AND LESSONS 

^^IV/T OTHER, aren't you going to 
J3(£ let us play the Washingtons 
any more?" asked George 
plaintively, while his hands were still 
bandaged, and the missing eye-brows 
and hair made his face look very queer 
and pathetic. 

"I'm sure I don't know what to say 
to that. If you would but keep within 
reasonable bounds of your patriotism, 
there would be no objection to your 
playing Washington as much as you 
like, but such capers as playing Madam 
Washington burning down her home- 
stead is beyond my endurance! Poor 
little Jim had nothing to do with the 
plan, yet he suffered as much as you, 
by doing exactly as you all advised 
him," replied Mrs. Parke severely. 

41 



42 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"Well, I remember father read from 
the Bible the other evening at prayers, 
that 'the rain fell on both the just and 
the unjust,* so what can we do when 
the Bible tells us that?" questioned 
Martha. 

Mrs. Parke could not reply to that 
great stumbling-block of most theolo- 
gians, so she changed the subject rather 
abruptly. 

"Now, for to-day, I intend reading 
of Washington's days directly after his 
father had passed away. Listen, chil- 
dren: 

" 'The death of Augustine Washing- 
ton' — that is George's father, you know, 
children — 'in 1743, when George was 
but eleven years old, broke up the 
happy Wakefield life and left Madam 
Washington a widow at thirty-five with 
a family of four sons and one daugh- 
ter, besides the two sons of her hus- 
band's first marriage to Jane Butler. 

" 'An earnest, serious, yet delightful 
boyhood was that of young George 
Washington. And as he grew older, 
he passed from the studies at his moth- 



PUNISHMENTS AND LESSONS 43 

er's knee to those of the old sexton, 
Master Hobby, and later to the old 
field-academy near Fredericksburg. 

" 'But Washington never had the 
benefits of an education such as Jeffer- 
son and Madison enjoyed. Latin and 
French were practically unknown to 
the (Schoolboy, whose bent of mind was 
thus entirely turned to mathematics 
and the studies growing out of a sound 
foundation in this important science of 
numbers. 

" 'Thus it happened naturally, that 
Washington should turn to the study of 
surveying, not only because his family 
owned such large parcels of ground, 
jbut because it was most remunerative 
at that day. 

" Tn the same way, Thomas Jeffer- 
son, Rogers Clark, and John Adams — 
not to mention Franklin — directed 
their early opportunities to surveying, 
that brings such precision of habits and 
practice in the study and application 
of the science of civil engineering.' " 

"Mother, when I am old enough I 
am going to study that — surveying, you 



44 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

know, just as my Washington did!" 
cried George, as he enthused at that 
part of Mrs. Parke's reading. 

"I trust you will, son, as it is a won- 
derful profession. Not only can you 
become close friends with Nature — her 
flowers, forests, fields, streams and 
mountain peaks, but also you can visit 
great cities, plan the lines of towering 
structures, examine the space occupied 
by square or diagonal city 'blocks,' and 
do many other interesting things that 
one seldom thinks of in other busi- 
nesses or professions," replied Mrs. 
Parke encouragingly. 

"Oh, don't interrupt mother again, 
George — I want to hear what became 
of Madam Washington when she was 
left alone to bring up that large fam- 
ily," complained Martha. 

"Very well, I will continue. 'Lewis 
Willis, a cousin and schoolmate of 
Washington's, was two years younger 
than the great general. He wrote in 
his diary, that George generally stood 
at the board ciphering when the other 
boys were out playing games. It is 



.1 



PUNISHMENTS AND LESSONS 45 

also written that this great soldier never 
had a fight while at school, but was 
often called upon to arbitrate with 
other quarrelsome boys. 

" *In this school, where boys and 
girls alike were taught, Washington 
learned no rules of civility which he 
latef wrote in a private book of his own. 
And the greatest rule of these he con- 
sidered to be the one that influenced 
his life and became the lamp that shed 
light on his future pathway: 

" 'Labor to keep alive in your 
breast that little spark of celestial fire 
called conscience. 

" 'Now Lawrence Washington's in- 
fluence in the family and outside cir- 
cles, impelled him to select the navy as 
a profession for his brother George, to 
whom he was especially devoted. So, 
when the boy was fourteen, a midship- 
man's warrant was obtained for him, 
and every preparation made for his de- 
parture on the ship which lay at anchor 
in the Potomac. But Madam Wash- 
ington's anguish and disapproval of 
this plan brought a letter from their 



46 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

uncle, John Ball, breaking up the ar- 
rangement, and George obediently fol- 
lowed his uncle's advice. 

" 'After this, George was brought to 
the notice of Lord Fairfax, who owned 
the vast territory westward over the 
Blue Ridge, unsurveyed and trackless. 
When the young student was engaged 
to explore and survey this domain, he 
took the greatest delight in his figur- 
ing, planning and surveying. 

" 'When George was sixteen he was 
surveying at seven pistoles per day. 
And at hours of rest and recreation, he 
roamed the primeval forests and ro- 
manced in dreams. Thus was formed 
the prologue of "Idylls of the Summer 
Isles." '" 

"Oh, mother, don't waste any more 
time reading about the dry things in 
Washington's life!" objected Martha, 
at this point in the story. "Tell us 
something about his love affairs with 
Martha Custis." 

"Or his wars and fighting," added 
the boy George. 

"Children, you forget that this is a 



PUNISHMENTS AND LESSONS 47 

punish reading. I must not read any- 
thing more exciting to you than these 
pages intimate, or you will be planning 
to do likewise, while your faces and 
hands are still bandaged up from your 
last experiment," rebuked Mrs. Parke. 
iTh^ she continued: 

" 'Washington followed the instruc- 
tion of his io8th rule, which was: 
"Honor your natural parents though 
they be poor." And even when he as- 
sociated intimately with the aristocracy 
at Lord Fairfax's home, he was most 
devoted, reverential, and gracious to his 
mother who was widowed, poor, and 
ignorant in the ways of the day. 

" 'The rules that influenced the sol- 
dier's after life were neatly written and 
carefully preserved in a manuscript 
book, and among them the following 
are the ones he favored most, and show 
the principles upon which Washington 
built his character: 

" *i. Every action in company 
ought to be with some sign of respect 
to those present. 

'2. Be no flatterer. 



(( (. 



48 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 



<( i. 



*3. Let your countenance be 
pleasant; but in serious matters, some- 
what grave. 

" *4. Show not yourself glad at the 
misfortune of another, though he were 
your enemy. 

" *5- When you meet with one of 
greater quality than yourself, stop and 
retire; especially, if it be at a door, or 
any strait place, to give way for him 
to pass. 

" *6. They that are in dignity or 
in office, have in all places precedency; 
but whilst they are young they ought 
to respect those that are their equals in 
birth, or other qualities, though they 
have no public charge.' " 

"Oh, dear me!" sounded woefully 
from George, who sat by the open win- 
dow, with legs stretched out wearily 
before him. 

"What is wrong, son?" asked Mrs. 
Parke, trying to hide a smile. 

"Those dreadful rules again ! I wish 
the great Washington had never writ- 
ten them, or had tried to follow his own 
advice in them!" sighed George, while 



[PUNISHMENTS AND LESSONS 49 

Martha, also weary of the wholesome 
mental chastisements, nodded an ener- 
getic approval of her brother's words. 

"But just think, George, what a won- 
derful character the New World would 
have lost if Washington had felt about 
these rules of conduct as you and Mar- 
tha do," argued Mrs. Parke. 

"But I say, mother, it is bad enough 
to have both hands tied up in cotton 
so's a fellow can't do a thing, without 
having to listen to the goody-goodness 
of Washington's boyhood. Can't you 
read about his wars, or at least about 
his visits to the Red Men?" begged 
George. 

"I must complete the reading of this 
list of rules first, as it is your daily sum 
of correction for past errors," replied 
the mother, holding the book up so the 
two culprits couldn't see the gleam of 
sympathy in her eyes. 

" *7. It is good manners to prefer 
them to whom we speak before our- 
selves; especially, if they be above us, 
with whom in no sort we ought to 
begin. 



50 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

*' *8. Let your discourse with men 
of business be short and comprehen- 
sive. 

" *9. In writing or speaking, give 
to every person his due title, according 
to his degree and the custom of the 
place. 

" *io. Strive not with your supe- 
riors in argument, but always submit 
your judgment to others with modesty. 

"*ii. Undertake not to teach your 
equal in the art he himself professes. 
It savors to arrogancy. 

" *I2. When a man does all he 
can, though it succeeds not well, blame 
not him that did it. 

" '13. Being to advise, or repre- 
hend any one, consider whether it ought 
to be done in public or in private, pres- 
ently or at some other time, in what 
terms to do it; and in reproving, show 
no signs of choler, but do it with sweet- 
ness and mildness.' " 

"There now, mother! We have the 
great Washington's own advice about 
this punishment business!" cried Mar- 
tha, who was pretty well acquainted 



PUNISHMENTS AND LESSONS 51 

with the rules, so often necessary to be 
read to the two of them that she knew 
when this section was read. 

"Yes, indeed, mother. We ought to 
consider carefully whether this is the 
right time to reprove Martha and me. 
I say that if Washington knew of this 
particular case, he would advise you to 
defer longer punishment to another 
time and place," added George eagerly. 

"Ah, my children! hear the follow- 
ing rule of our Immortal Hero's four- 
teen: 'Take all admonition thankfully, 
in what time or place soever given ; but 
afterward, not being culpable, take a 
time or place convenient to let him 
know it that gave it.' " 

"Why, mother, that means you — not 
us ! It says 'take all admonition thank- 
fully.' Now Martha and I advised you 
well, so you ought to be thankful to us, 
but if you have any explanations to 
make, try to make an opportunity some- 
time later to tell us about it,'' said 
George, rising from the armchair and 
politely standing to await his mother's 
exit. 



52 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

Mrs. Parke, tremendously amused 
at the children's interpretation of the 
"rules," rose also, and, not exactly sure 
of the best thing to do at that moment, 
left the room, bowing first to Martha 
and then to George. 

The children, as taught, made a curt- 
sey to their mother, and then sat down 
to look hopelessly at each other. 

"Well, we won't have to listen to 
those dreadful rules any more to-day!" 
sighed Martha. 

"Yes, but at what a loss. Mother 
went with the rules, you see," com- 
plained George. 

"Well, why did you stand when you 
did?" asked Martha.^ 

George plumped himself down again 
in the soft, springy chairseat and 
frowned at the table. He appeared not 
to have heard a word of Martha's 
prompt rebuke. 

Before either could offer any plan 
for the long, tiresome hours of the af- 
ternoon, with mother gone to the baby 
in the nursery, a "hist" came from un- 
der the wide window opening directly 



PUNISHMENTS AND LESSONS S3 

over the flowerbeds at the side of the 
house. 

Martha jumped up to see who it was, 
but Jim's closely-shaven head bobbed 
up into sight and a dangerous grin 
spread across his face, which threat- 
ened to meet back of his ears at the risk 
of having the top of his head topple 
off. 

"Fse got a hunk uv chockerlate cake 
me mammy gi' me!" 

"O-oh, Jimmy! is it big enough for 
us, too?" whispered Martha eagerly. 

"Uh-huh! An' I'se got a fine pik- 
sher book dat shows de general ridin' 
a hoss — he's all traipsed out wid gol* 
lace an' an orful big sword slashin' by 
his side!" the little pickaninny informed 
his interested audience. 

"Where is it?" asked George, show- 
ing more animation than he had had all 
day. 

"Where'd you get it?" asked the cu- 
rious Martha. 

"Fse got him all right — heah!" and 
Jim began to struggle with the length 
of string that was wound about certain 



54 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

loose China buttons which were meant 
to hold the old shirt together. After 
unwinding the maze so that he could 
open the doubled-over bosom shirt 
handed down from his daddy, the two 
eager faces leaning from the window 
saw a highly-colored paper book repos- 
ing against Jim's red flannel shirt. 

"Heah hit is! Ain't them colors jus* 
too bufool for ennyting? Yer gran'ma 
gi' hit to me 'cause she said Ah was a 
good lir boy an' loss ma har fer nuttin'. 
Gee, Mas'er Garge, Ah'd loose it agin 
ef Ah had enny more, fer anudder book 
lak dis!" cried Jim, rolling his eyes 
back in ecstasy until Martha gasped 
for fear they would never roll back in 
place again. 

"Wait a second where you are, Jim 
— I'm coming out to look at it!" ex- 
claimed George, jumping from the win- 
dow-sill and running toward the door^ 

"Me, too, Jim!" cried Martha ex- 
citedly, following after her brother. 

As there had been no ban placed on 
the children's going freely in or out 
as they pleased, they met outside the 



PUNISHMENTS AND LESSONS 55 

window, and all three walked over to 
the lilac bushes, where a rustic bench 
offered a suitable place to sit and ad- 
mire the pictures. 

As they walked over the grass 
George felt it necessary to apologize 
for taking the time to come out of the 
natural exit of the house instead of 
clearing the window-sill and landing on 
the ground. 

"You see, I can't support myself any- 
where, 'cause my hands hurt so when 
I touch anything — that is why I had to 
walk out on my feet like girls do!" 

The last remark was said so humbly 
that Martha hadn't the heart to scold 
him for saying unkind things about 
girls. 

By crowding closely together, the 
three could sit on the bench, so Jim 
was given the middle place, as he held 
the book that would reveal new deeds 
of valor and wonders to the two 
devoted admirers of the famous gen- 
eral. 

As page after page turned slowly 
to display the gorgeously tinted pic- 



56 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

tures, George formed the beginning of 
another plan for acting the life of 
Washington. And Martha sighed as 
she wished she were Jim, to be the pos- 
sessor of such a lovely picture-book I 



CHAPTER I\^ 

GEORGE PLANS A SURVEY EXPEDITION 

THE pictures in Jim's book lured 
George's ever-ready fancy to pic- 
turing an expedition to some 
vt^oods a few miles from his home, but 
he had no excuse for this trip other 
than it would give him practise in sur- 
veying the lands passed through. But 
the week following the reading of the 
rules and precepts from Washington's 
journal, Mrs. Parke read some very in- 
teresting data and that was all George 
needed to construct a plausible esca- 
pade. 

Mrs. Parke had read: " *At sixteen 
the precocious lad was sent on an im- 
portant mission, and the interesting de- 
tails are set forth in his own writing 
from the diary he kept systematically. 

" *He went in company with George 
Fairfax, Esquire, and an expert sur- 

57 



58 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

yeyor, over the Blue Ridge mountains 
to Captain Ashby's place on the Shen- 
andoah River. 

" 'Sunday they rode up the river, 
passing through beautiful groves of 
sugar trees, and over most fertile fields. 
For some days following, they traveled 
onward till the river was found to be so 
high from heavy rains that it was not 
passable, it being six feet higher than 
usual. 

" 'After a delay of a few days, and 
the river not abating, the surveyors 
swam their horses across the stream and 
left them at a friend's for pasturage. 
The party then continued in a canoe 
up the Maryland side of the river. 

" 'The rain and freshets continued 
and detained the surveyors at Cresaps. 
There they were surprised by a party 
of thirty Indians coming from a battle 
with but one scalp. The white men 
gave the Red Men some of their liquor, 
which made the Indians dance for them 
in return. 

" 'They cleared a large circle and 
built a big fire in the middle. They 



^ SURVEY EXPEDITION 59 

then sat about it in a ring while one of 
them made a fine speech, telling his 
warriors what and how to dance. Then 
the best dancer of all jumped up and 
ran about the fire in a very strange 
manner, the others joining in the dance 
and following after the leader. To the 
music of a skin drum and a gourd 
filled with shot for a rattle, they danced 
wild and fearful ways.' " 

When Mrs. Parke read this para- 
graph, George made a mental note for 
future use. But to the description of 
how Washington slept on some straw 
which caught fire, so that the crude 
mattress had to be thrown into the river, 
George remained impervious. He 
thought to himself: "We've had one 
good fire and that's enough to do for 
all time." ^ 

When his mother read of the fine wild 
turkeys shot down or trapped, George 
made another mental note — not includ- 
ing a gun, for he had also had enough 
of lectures about firearms, but trapping 
was different! 

At the paragraph where the young 



60 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

surveyor spoke of the night's camp in a 
fine meadow where some hay had been 
stacked up, and the description of how 
the men cooked supper, and then after 
spreading out some hay for bedding, 
enjoyed a well-earned rest, George felt 
yery deeply interested. 

By the time the swaddling cotton and 
linen bandages were removed from 
George's hands, he had another full- 
fledged plan in mind, all ready and 
waiting for the opportunity to try it. 

It happened that John Graham was 
released from strict imprisonment 
within his home grounds, and given 
parole of the gardens and lawns back 
of the house. 

Jim had wandered aimlessly over the 
entire estate during the days of George's 
forced quiet withindoors, and during 
one of these roamings he heard John's 
whistle and saw the boy running across 
the garden to meet him at the place 
where the high picket fence had stood. 
It was temporarily replaced by a rib- 
bon wire. 

This offered no obstacle whatever to 



!A. SURVEY EXPEDITION 61 

youth, so John was soon over on the 
Parkes' property asking eagerly for 
George and Martha. Jim faithfully re- 
peated the method of punishment, as he 
had heard it read from the history book 
each day, as he crouched under the 
wide window waiting for Mrs. Parke 
to finish and leave the children alone. 

John listened in wonderment. "I 
wish I had some one punish me that 
way — Fd like it." 

"No'm-mm! you wouldn't uther!" 
retorted Jim, making a very significant 
sound on the first word. 

"Why?" giggled John. 

"Cuz! Dem rules an' regerlations 
what dat Washerton said is as bad to 
recomember as de Proverbs in granny's 
Good Book!" declared Jim, rolling his 
eyes upward at mention of the Book 
that could open the door of Heaven for 
bad boys. 

"I wish you'd see if any one's about 
the house — I'd take a chance of seein' 
George if he was alone!" whispered 
John, looking about fearfully to see if 
any one could overhear him. 



62 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"Ah'd let it go by, John, ef Ah wuz 

yuh ! Lemme tell Garge you'se is wait- 

i in' at de back fence — leastwise whar de 

fence 'ust to be onct !" corrected honest 

Jim. 

"Yeh— do that and hurry up! Til 
stay around by the shrubs over there 
for ten minutes anyway," declared 
John, starting off. 

When Jim approached the window 
of the room where the two Parke chil- 
dren were wont to sit and do penance 
for the fire, he heard Mrs. Parke say: 

"So you will have to be good chil- 
dren until I come back. Mammy has 
been given full charge of you, and you 
must do all you can to make the task 
light for her.'* 

"Oh, we will, mother! Trust me. 
I hate to make any work or extra 
care for mammy, and she will be able 
to tell you how nice her days were 
while you were away in Washington," 
eagerly agreed George and Martha as 
one voice. In fact, so anxious were 
they to assure their mother of the care 
and trouble they would spare the watch- 



A SURVEY EXPEDITION 63 

ful mammy that Mrs. Parke won3ered 
if there could be a deeper meaning un- 
derlying the consent. 

As Jim heard the door close, and felt 
assured the lady had gone from the 
room, he gave his low, peculiar whistle 
that immediately brought the two dam- 
aged but almost mended children to the 
window. 

"John, he am waitin' nigh de bushes 
war de fiah wuz!" Jim informed his 
young friends. 

"What for?" countered Martha. 

"Just to visit us, I s'pose — anyway, 
let's run out and see him for a minute," 
suggested George. 

Without losing time to go by the 
roundabout way of the door, both chil- 
dren leaped from the window — 
George's hands being healed well 
enough to use again. 

Jim grinned at the sight of that meet- 
ing — it was as if three long-lost friends 
had suddenly found each other again. 

"I've got great news, John!" cried 
George, as soon as the first greetings 
were over. 



64 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"Have you? — so've L I just heard 
my mother 'phone my father that every- 
thing was nicely arranged to start to- 
morrow. She then said that Mrs. Parke 
would be able to accompany her. Now 
where do you suppose they are going?" 
said John. 

"Ha ! That's what I want to tell you. 
Our folks — that is mother and father — 
are going to Washington for a week. 
lYour father and mother are going with 
'em. You are going to be left in 
charge of your uncle, who will stay at 
your house, and we are to be left with 
our mammy." 

George waited to see the effect of his 
words on John, but he never expected 
to see such wild enthusiasm as his 
friend expressed at the news. 

"Sh-h! Some one'll hear you and 
then they won't go!" cried Martha 
fearfully. 

This silenced John more effectively 
than any other warning could have 
done. When other explanations had 
been made, and the four children had 
sworn each other to secrecy to encour- 



A SURVEY EXPEDITION 65 

age George to divulge his plans, he 
said: 

"I thought it all out while mother 
was reading about our Washington's 
experiences in surveying on the moun- 
tains. Now I know all about some 
mountains not far from here, and my 
plan will not only save mammy a lot 
of care and trouble, but do us a lot of 
good for future business — I expect to 
be a surveyor, you know!" 

The other children conceded the ex- 
pected fame of their future expert with 
a transit and other instruments, and 
heard his plan in breathless admiration. 

"You are a general that we're proud 
of, George," said John. 

"Da's what!" echoed Jim emphati- 
cally. 

"But Fm afraid it isn't right," ob- 
jected Martha. 

"Why not? Won't we be helping 
mammy take care of us?" retorted 
George, who feared his subjects would 
also retract. 

"Well — ^maybe — ^but I don't like your 
plan of staying out," added Martha„ 



66 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

who was not as daring and brave as 
her brother. 

The following morning the parents 
left, after leaving many admonitions for 
the guidance of the children and their 
nurse. 

The elders left at nine o'clock to 
catch the express train for the capital, 
and immediately after their departure, 
Jim crept up from the areaway and 
gave the secret signal for the brother 
and sister. 

Even before he had been able to let 
his lips settle into a natural line again, 
George and Martha came down the 
back steps of the porch, and all three 
ran over to the lilac bushes. 

"Whar's mammy?" whispered Jim 
hoarsely, for mammy was the hoo-doo 
of his otherwise free and happy life. 
His own mammy was too busy in the 
kitchen cooking for the family to 
bother much about Jim's method of 
spending his time, but the elder mammy 
and granny were usually wide awake to 
the capers of the little pickaninny. 

"Oh, she's in the nursery puttin' baby 



A SURVEY EXPEDITION 67 

to sleep after her bath," responded 
Martha. 

Jim laughed with relief and said: 
"Ah got dat bread an* butter from de 
pantry." 

"And we've got apples, potatoes and 
some cookies," added George. 

"And I've got the blankets, but they 
were too heavy to carry all at once, so 
I brought only one pair," said Martha, 
displaying a huge roll under the lilac 
bushes. 

"You two go on with these things, 
an' I'll go back for the other traps — 
we've got to have them, you knowj" 
declared George. 

Martha and Jim hurried along the 
hedge-bound path well hidden from the 
windows of the house and barn, and 
reached the charred trees where John 
stood wearily waiting. 

"I thought you'd never come! I've 
been here since the folks left ! I've got 
the tins and other things," said he. 

"We couldn't come sooner, 'cause 
your folks stopped for our folks, and 
they never left till a little while ago — 



68 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

did they, Jim?" said Martha, appealing 
to her companion for confirmation. 

"Da's what!" assented Jim, wagging 
his erstwhile shiny bald head, which 
was beginning to show a soft fuzz of 
newly-grown wool. 

"Well, 'all's well that ends well,'" 
said John. 

"It isn't ended yet — and I said, re- 
member, that I am afraid it isn't going 
to end well !" prophesied Martha. 

"Oh say, Martha, you're a regular 
Jonah, you are!" said George, coming 
up in time to overhear his sister's re- 
marks. 

Martha, fearing that she might be 
left out of the expedition if she saicj 
more, remained very quiet while the 
three boys tied up food and tins in the 
blankets, and each adventurer took hold 
of an end of the bundle — there being 
two rolls of blankets and four carriers. 

They left the smooth road that ran 
back of the two estates and trudged 
over a rough country road for half an 
hour without complaint or rest. Then 
Jim said: 



A SURVEY EXPEDITION 69 

"Ah rickon mah crooked laigs ain't 
jest as nimble ez your'n, Marse 
Garge." 

From experience, Jim knew it was 
always wiser to appeal to George's hu- 
manitarian side of nature rather than 
to hint at a desired rest or lunch. 

"Say, don't you two go so fast — ^Jim 
can't keep up with you, you know!" 
ordered George, slowing down to keep 
pace with Martha and the bow-legged 
boy. 

"How much further on this trail is it, 
George?" asked John. 

"Oh, not far. I've been hoping some 
cart would happen along and give us 
a lift," said the Commander of the 
Forces. 

"There comes one, but it's the wrong 
direction," commented Martha, as a 
buckboard came into sight down the 
end of the long country road. 

Another half-hour found every one 
tired and ready for a rest. Also, they 
were willing to eat up all the food 
brought for the entire expedition. 

"We'll camp at the first spring of 



70 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

water we can find," promised the gen- 
eral. 

But no spring was found, as they sel- 
dom bubble up on a muddy road, but 
seek quiet, secluded nooks where they 
offer their sweet water to thirsty travel- 
lers. 

However, when all hope in a near-by 
spring, and the joy of an immediate 
camp, was well nigh given up, a farmer 
drove along, his heavy wagon empty 
and suggestive of room. 

"Say, mister, will you please give us 
a ride?" asked George, removing his 
cap politely. 

"Where be you uns goin'?" asked 
the smiling farmer. 

"Why, you see, I've got to start my 
business of surveying some land along 
here, and these, my friends, want to go 
with me to see what camp life is like," 
explained George, manlike. 

"'Course you can have a lift — climb 
right in," replied the amused farmer. 

So the band of weary wanderers 
thankfully sat down on the heavy 
wagon-flooring, and continued to ride 



fA SURVEY EXPEDITION 71 

until the farmer turned to ask them 
where they wished to stop. 

"Guess we'll camp at the first good 
spring you see," answered George, thus 
putting on the old man's shoulders the 
burden of finding water. 

But the farmer merely chuckled 
again, thinking the four children were 
out for a picnic, and never dreaming 
that they were away from home with- 
out the consent or knowledge of their 
elders. 

After several miles were covered, the 
good-natured farmer turned into a nar- 
row road leading from the main road, 
and then said to the children: 

"I live up the other way a stretch, but 
thar is a mighty fine spring of water in 
the woods, up har a ways. You kin 
camp and have a good time on that hill, 
and ef you want milk or any other 
thing, come to our house fer it — ^we 
are only a mile away." 

When the wagon stopped by the 
woods and George, as the general of 
the party, was directed how to find 
the spring, they thanked their friend 



72 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

and watched as he drove on his way. 
Then, as a turn of the road hid him 
from view they resumed their journey 
to the spring. 

"I wonder what time it is — ^must be 
'most night!" observed Martha. 

"No, not yet — I can't tell exactly, 
'cause I haven't my surveying instru- 
ments, you see. But I guess it is about 
one o'clock from the position of the 
sun and shadows," said George, squint- 
ing up at the sky with a very knowing 
look. 

The others watched him with great 
admiration, and John unconsciously 
humbled the make-believe surveyor's 
conceit when he added: 

"You're right, George, 'cause it was 
'most one o'clock by the farmer's big 
silver watch when he showed it to you, 
you know." 

"See here, John, you run to the 
spring and fetch us some water in the 
tin pail, will you?" quickly said 
George. 

"Why, you said I was going to be 
Lord Fairfax on this surveying trip — 



A SURVEY EXPEDITION 73 

and I'm sure he never had to carry 
water," objected John. 

"Well, then, Martha — ^you're a ser- 
vant right now, you know; you go and 
get it while I see that the blankets are 
put away." 

"George, you said I was to be one of 
the surveyors, so I can't be a servant, 
too," replied Martha, looking at Jim 
for the offer to serve. 

"Sure you can ! They all had to work 
on that trip in the wilds," explained 
George. 

"Then you can get the water while 
I hang the blankets on a tree bough to 
air," responded Martha, tossing her 
head. 

"Now let's settle this thing right here 
— I am Washington and in command 
of this trip," declared George em- 
phatically. 

"No, sir! Mother read that Lord 
Fairfax was the head of the expedition, 
and Washington was only a boy sur- 
veyor of sixteen. By rights, John ought 
to take command," argued Martha. 

George made no reply to this, as he 



74 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

was not willing to assume any other 
role than that of Washington, and he 
rebelled at any one's taking command 
over him, but finally said to John: 

"You're Lord Fairfax, and I guess he 
never did anything but have a good 
time on these trips, so you won't have 
to boss or work — ^just be Lord Fair- 
fax." 

"Who is going for the spring 
water?" wondered Martha. 

"Why, I will, of course! Didn't 
Washington always settle every dispute 
in school, and with the crews of men, 
by arbitration?" retorted George impa- 
tiently. 

Jim stood humbly listening and 
watching these preparations, and when 
George took the pail and started for the 
water, he offered to help Martha hang 
the blankets over the limb of a tree. 

Although Lord Fairfax was not sup- 
posed to work, he felt a keen desire to 
arrange the supper-table, so he spread 
out the newspapers and placed the tin 
cups and food on it before George re- 
turned with the water. 



CHAPTER V 

THE surveyor's CAMP 

GEORGE came running back with 
the pail of water, but at every^ 
step the water splashed out, so 
that very little was left for the supper^ 
when he reached his companions. 

"What do you think! I saw a great 
big snake!" cried he. 

"Maybe it was a rattler like the one 
Washington saw on the mountains just 
before he started for home," ventured 
Martha. 

"Let's hurry over and kill it — ^where 
did you see it?" exclaimed John ex- 
citedly. 

Jim trembled with desire or fear, 
no one could say, but he said: "My 
daddy kills 'em wid a stick!" 

Armed with sticks and stones, the 
four surveyors began a hunt for the 
reptile which George assured them "was 



76 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

'most four feet long and had blazing 
eyes!" 

Jim took care to be the last in the 
line, and his eyes not only kept shifting 
from one side of the trail to the other, 
but he was also alert to the slightest ac- 
tion of the leaders. 

Halfway to the spring, Martha saw 
a tiny green threadlike snake dart 
across the path, and screamed with' 
fright. 

At the moment she screamed, how- 
ever, Jim stopped, bent forward to see 
what was wrong, and then turning like 
a flash, was off along the path they had 
all come. Martha, finding the erst- 
while Indian warrior taking so fleetly 
to his heels, turned and followed suit. 

"There it is, John! Kill him— kill 
him!" shouted George, jumping up 
and down with excitement while point- 
ing his stick at the wriggling grass 
snake. 

"Where? Where is he? I don't see 
anything!" cried John, looking in the 
opposite direction to that in which the 
snake was going. 



THE SURVEYOR'S CAMP 77 

When the snake was far enough 
away to be quite safe for George to 
fling stones at, John also turned and 
saw the pretty little caterpillar-eater. 

"That isn't four feet long!" scorned 
John. 

"It's 'most — ^you can't see the end of 
his tail in that long grass," disputed 
George. 

"It isn't more'n eight inches long, 
and I can see it just as plain as day!" 
retorted John, flinging the stone he 
held, but aiming so badly that it fell a 
yard away. 

The snake slid into a crevice under 
a rock, and the two disgusted reptile- 
hunters returned to camp to find that 
Jim had stumbled over the tin pail, 
and spilled the remaining water all 
over his cotton shirt. 

"I told him to take it off and hang it 
in the sun while he sits behind a tree 
where we can't see him," explained 
Martha. 

George had a sudden inspiration. 

"If we only had some feathers, and 
beads, and a skin belt, Jim could play 



78 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

Red Man and dance around a fire I 
will make." 

"No, yoh won't make no fire fer me 
t' dance, neider! Ah got scorched one 
time — no moh!" exclaimed Jim, with 
vim. 

"We haven't any matches, anyway, 
and — and — ^we don't want any more 
bonfires," added Martha. 

"Well then, we'll eat dinner. John, 
you fetch some water this time while 
I help Jim hang up the shirt," replied 
George. 

With an exasperated sigh that Lord 
Fairfax must carry water, John dragged 
the pail along the grass and brought 
water from the spring. 

The four surveyors sat about the 
newspaper, eating all they had brought 
from home, then wishing there was 
more, as they still felt hungry. 

"What are we going to have for sup- 
per and breakfast?" wondered Martha, 
as she looked at the raw potatoes. 

"Guess we'll have to hunt up some 
berries in the woods," replied George. 

"Berries don't grow in September — 



THE SURVEYOR'S CAMP 79 

nothing but nuts now," said John, wish- 
ing he had a shce of cake and a glass 
of milk as usual. 

"Then we'll have to hunt for an or- 
chard and find some apples," returned 
George encouragingly. 

Dinner over, Martha found Jim's 
shirt was not yet dry, so George pro- 
posed that he play Indian for them. 

"Ah don' know what dey do," Jim 
objected. 

"Til show you. We'll be playing 
camp and you must come from those 
bushes, bending over and holding your 
hand to your eyes to see who we are. 
When you creep up and we hail you, 
you come right over and exchange wel- 
comes. We hand you the peace pipe 
and you sit down with us and tell us all 
about the war. You must have a scalp- 
lock hanging at your belt, and this you 
hold up as you describe the fight. Then 
you get up and dance, and we can 
make believe that we join you — al- 
though Washington and his friends 
really didn't do that, 'cause there were 
plenty of Indians to do it," said George. 



80 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"I haven't any hair for a scalp-lock," 
argued Jim, speaking more literally 
than he dreamed of. 

"I can find something — the rest of 
you pile up some wood for a make- 
believe fire, while I get the scalp-lock," 
commanded George. 

Martha, John and Jim gathered wood 
and brush and piled it in a heap in the 
center of a small cleared space, and 
after a short absence, George returned 
holding the bunched roots of a skunk- 
cabbage plant. When the green leaves 
were broken off, the dangling roots 
with the dotted soil clinging to them 
answered as well as anything else for 
the war-dance. 

Jim tucked the scalp-lock in his rope- 
belt, and hid behind the bushes. The 
other three sat down about the heap of 
wood, and at a signal the Indian crept 
out, while George rose and looked 
about at the landscape. 

"Methlnks I hear some crackling of 
brush, my lord," declared he. 

Martha giggled and John jumped up. 
*Ah! yonder comes a forest man!" 



fTHE SURVEYOR'S CAMP, 81 

cried he, leaning forward to peer at the 
bushes, 

George turned then, and both boys 
stood proudly waiting for the Indian 
to come forward. Martha, too intent 
on watching the boys, forgot to get up 
from the grass. 

"What brings my brother to our 
camp?" asked George, with a grand 
air. 

"Ah jus' finished scalpin' five thou- 
sand enemies, Mr. Washerton, an' Ah 
fought yu'd like t' see de ha'r Ah chopt 
off!" replied Jim, hop-stepping to the 
circle. 

"Get up, Martha — can't you see we 
men don't know what the Indian will 
do, so we must be ready to fight?" 
hoarsely whispered George to his sister. 

Martha quickly jumped up with a re- 
pentant air, and Jim joined the white 
men at their campfire. John grinned 
as Jim held out the muddy roots of the 
cabbage and said : 

"Ah los' mah way affer dat fight, 'cuz 
Ah had t' run lak fury t' git away from 
dem fierce enemy. Ah could'en stop t* 



82 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

cut no moh scalps off, or Ah'd ben shot 
full uv arrers. So heah Ah am wid de 
tropee." 

"We welcome you to our fire, 
brother, and ask you to dance for us,'* 
said George, with a serious bow. 

"You forgot the pipe — hurry up and 
find a pipe, some one!" prompted John, 
looking about in the ground for a suit- 
able stick. 

All four sought eagerly until a stick 
with a notch was found, and this was 
handed to Jim with explanations. 

"You have to invite us to smoke a 
'pipe of peace with you before we sit 
dov/n at the fire." 

Jim had often played Indian with the 
boys at home, so he took the pipe, puffed 
several times loudly at the one end, and 
made his bows to the four winds and 
the four corners of the earth, then to 
the Great Spirit; then he passed it to 
Lord Fairfax. 

John puffed the same way and passed 
it to George. When the latter had 
puffed he passed it to Martha, and she 
puffed and passed it to Jim again. Then 



THE SURVEYOR'S CAMP 83 

the pipe was placed upon a spread- 
out paper (as a substitute for a blan- 
ket) and the Red Man was ready to 
dance. 

John banged the bottom of the tin 
pail for a drum, Martha shook some 
pebbles in her cup for a rattle, and 
George and Jim started the war-dance. 
IWith wild shouts of victory and frantic 
gestures of the fight, the two warriors 
went circling about the fire to the music 
of the tins. 

Not until all were hoarse from shout- 
ing and laughing, and limbs as well as 
breath gave out, did the Indians stop to 
fall upon the grass and roll over in sat- 
isfaction. 

"That was the best war-dance we 
iever had," John said. 

"It takes the forest and camp life to 
make it good," explained George. 

"What now?" asked Martha, who 
was not as exhausted as the others. 

"I guess we'll have to hunt a bear 
for steaks, or a buck for venison," sug- 
gested George, looking for the sun that 
he might guess the time of day. 



84 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

John followed his gaze and suddenly 
sat up. 

"Oh! look at that dark cloud!'* 
gasped he. 

! All four turned eyes upward, and 
sure enough a heavy bank of clouds 
,was fast hiding the blue sky and sun. 
At the same time, an ominous roll of 
thunder sounded almost overhead. 

"I'm afraid of the woods when it 
rains," said Martha, looking anxiously 
about for some shelter. 

"Pooh! You know that during the 
long survey trip of Washington's which 
we are pretending now, it rained so 
hard that they were soaked lots of times 
— and that is why they had to ford the 
river and leave their horses at some 
farm while they went on up the stream 
in canoes. This rain will make things 
more real," exulted George, but he ran 
for a blanket and began to open it for 
a cover. 

"Mah shirt hain't dry from dat pail 
uv water yit. Ah don' wan'ta git all wet 
inside on dis red flannerl!" complained 
Jim. 



THE SURVEYOR'S CAMP 85 

"I'll tell you what! Let's roll us up 
in the two blankets and sit under that 
big oak tree," suggested John, seeing 
George appropriate one whole blanket 
for himself. 

"You mustn't sit under a tree in a 
thunder storm — it's sure to be hit by 
lightning when you're under it!" cried 
Martha. 

"Mah mammy says t' find rosin quick 
and smear yoh-self wid it so's the fury 
uv de lightnin' don' strike!" warned 
Jim. 

"That's all bosh — good enough for 
girls and superstitious folks, but the 
real thing is that lightning strikes a high 
point like a tall tree, or is detracted by 
rosin and stuff in a pine tree. That's 
why a pine tree is safest in a storm," 
bragged George. 

The three looked admiringly at the 
future general, and Martha said to her- 
self: "Now, I wonder where he read 
that?" 

Finally, the four hurried surveyors 
managed to hang the two blankets over 
a clump of alder-bushes growing near 



86 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

the brook, and as the rain began fall- 
ing, they crept under the canopy thus 
made, and sat huddled together. 

Flash after flash forked back and 
forth through the gloom of the woods, 
while peal after peal of ear-splitting 
thunder cracked and thundered till the 
trembling children wished they had 
never come on Lord Fairfax's survey- 
ing tour. 

When the storm was at its height, a 
lurid flash, a deafening roar, and a ter- 
rific crashing as if the forest were 
being torn up by the roots, made the 
campers all scream with one voice. 

At the same time, the blankets, laden 
with rain-water and sagging gradually 
in the center so that they bent the wil- 
lowy bushes over, now fell in on the 
frightened children, deluging them with 
the reservoir of water, and causing 
them to believe that lightning had 
struck them to the ground. So firm was 
the belief of each one, that they were 
all so helpless that not one dared to try 
and get up and grope about to find the 
others. 



THE SURVEYOR'S CAMP. 87 

Finally George managed to throw off 
the soaking blanket and look about. 
The others also sat up and found they 
were all safe and sound. But the great 
oak tree that had offered such splendid 
shelter to the ignorant, was split in half 
— a part hanging across the boughs of 
other trees, and part having crashed 
through many tender young trees to lie 
on the ground, a great and mighty ob- 
struction on the trail of the woods. 

"I want to go home," said Martha, 
with trembling lips. 

Jim had burrowed his head under the 
blankets again the moment he saw the 
terrible havoc made by the lightning, 
and John sat pale-faced watching 
George. The latter rose bravely to the 
trial. 

"This is just the sort of thing Wash- 
ington had to live through to make him 
the great soldier he was !" 

"Well, I don't care if he did— Fm 
not Washington, and I never said I 
wanted to be a surveyor! I just said I 
would play Lady Washington, or Mar- 
tha Custis when she was his sweet- 



88 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

heart, and I'm going home now!" de- 
clared Martha. 

"I'm going to see that Martha gets 
back safe," said John diffidently. 

"Lem'me go wid yoh — Ah'm 'fraid 
to stay out in dis surwey camp all 
night!" whined Jim, twisting his head 
from under the blankets. 

"You shan't! I'm commander, and 
we must stay to do just like Washing- 
ton and his companions did on that trip. 
This thing is just what we wanted to 
show what stuff we were made of!'^ 
cried George, trying manfully to be 
courageous, but his voice showing in 
its quavering that he too preferred a 
warm, dry house with comparative 
safety to this wet, uncertain forest life. 

"I'm Lord Fairfax, and I tell you 
we won't camp here any longer. I'm 
going to order my surveyors and ser- 
vants to start for the Castle — or what- 
ever place you say Lord Fairfax 
owned," said John, pulling Jim upon 
his shaking legs. 

But the plan was not carried out as 
quickly and easily as Lord Fairfax 



THE SURVEYOR'S CAMP 89 

thought possible. First, the soaked 
blankets were very heavy and unpleas- 
ant to carry. Second, evening was com- 
ing on apace, and the children were 
hungry, wet, and strange in the sur- 
roundings, so it was difficult to find a 
way back to the muddy country road. 
Third, Jim kept looking over his shoul- 
der for the "hoo-doo" with which his 
mammy generally frightened him into 
good bahavior, so that he caught his 
feet time and again and fell headlong 
in the grass or bushes. 

After devious wanderings, and many 
protests against the briars and stubble 
that caught or tripped them, the four 
surveyors reached the dark and muddy 
road. 

"S'pose we go to the farm-house and 
ask the man to take us home?" sug- 
gested George, who really felt fearful 
of traveling an unknown road with 
three tired, frightened companions. 

"Oh yes, let's!" sighed Martha. 

So they plunged through puddles, 
over hummocks of mud, and across a! 
field of early wheat, to reach the place 



90 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

>vhere a stream of lamp-light gleamed 
from a farm-house window. 

The kind-hearted farmer and his 
wife heard the pitiful tale of "Wash- 
ington" and "Lord Fairfax" and, being 
modern farmers with telephone, electric 
light and other conveniences in the 
house, they telephoned to the homes of 
the wayfarers to quiet any anxiety 
caused by their absence. 

"Your grandma says every one in 
your house is out hunting for you, and 
John Graham's father was telegraphed 
about your being lost. Now they will 
telephone again to Washington to re- 
lieve their fears in case the telegram 
has arrived," said the farmer, coming 
from the hall where the 'phone was. 

A good hot supper and a warm bed 
— the wet clothes having been hung 
about the kitchen fire to dry — soon 
made the four surveyors feel at peace 
again, so that George whispered to 
John, his bed-fellow, that the trip was 
just like the one Washington and Lord 
Fairfax had had. 

"All the same, I'll be glad to get 



THE SURVEYOR'S CAMP 91 

home again," mumbled John, half 
asleep. 

"Why, that's just it! Didn't George 
Washington write in his journal that 
he was glad to get back home?'^ 
chuckled George. 

And as George planned further ex- 
periences in the great Washington's 
life, John slept the sleep of the care- 
free Lord Fairfax, while Martha: 
dreamed she was trailing silk and satin 
gowns over mud-puddles and briars, 
and Jim, the Indian, shot unlimited ar- 
rows and killed scores of warrior ene- 
mies. 

About the same time, a telegram, a! 
telephone message, and presentiments; 
of mischief at home, reached the par- 
ents of the surveyors, and the follow- 
ing telegram was wired back to those 
left in charge of the two houses: 

"Lock them up in a safe upper roonl 
until we return." 



CHAPTER VI 

THE FIRST TASTE OF BATTLE 

THE Parkes ended their visit to 
Washington some days earlier 
than they had at first planned, for 
they felt uneasy about affairs at home. 
[When the four "surveyors" were found 
quite safe and restless at the enforced 
imprisonment in the house, they felt 
grateful for that much relief to their 
fears and presentiments. 

As was customary, Mrs. Parke read 
again from the book the rules and pre- 
cepts which were meant to guide and 
govern the youthful descendants of the 
illustrious Father of his Country: 

" *I5. Mock not, nor jest at any- 
thing of importance ; break no jests that 
are sharp-biting, and if you deliver any- 
thing that is witty or pleasant, abstain 
from laughing thereat yourself. 

92 



THE FIRST BATTLE 93 

" *i6. Wherein you reprove another 
be unblamable yourself, for example is 
more prevalent than precepts. 

" '17. Use no reproachful language 
against any one ; neither curse or revile. 

" *i8. Be not hasty to believe flying 
reports to the disparagement of any. 

" '19. In your apparel be modest, 
and endeavor to accommodate nature 
rather than to procure admiration; keep 
to the fashion of your equals, such as 
are civil and orderly with respect to 
times and places. 

" *20. Play not the peacock, looking 
everywhere about you to see if you be 
well decked, if your shoes fit well, if 
your stockings sit neatly, and clothes 
handsomely. 

" *2i. Associate yourself with men 
of good quality, if you esteem your own 
reputation; for it is better to be alone 
than in bad company. 

" '22. Let your conversation be 
without malice or envy, for it is a sign 
of a tractable and commendable nature; 
and in all cases of passion, admit rea- 
son to govern. 



94 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

" '23. Utter not frivolous things 
among grave and learned men; nor 
very difficult questions or subjects 
among the ignorant; nor things hard 
to be believed. 

" '24. Be not immodest in urging 
your friend to discover a secret. 

" '25. Break not a jest where none 
takes pleasure in mirth; laugh not 
aloud, nor at all without occasion. 
Deride no man's misfortune, though 
there seem to be some cause.' " 

Mrs. Parke reached this selection 
when George asked her pardon for in- 
terrupting the reading. 

"Mother, don't you think it is much 
better to read a few of such precepts, 
and let Martha and I ponder them well, 
instead of filling our thoughts overfull 
so we can't tell what was read?" 

"If I were sure of your pondering 
anything worth while, I might feel 
more inclined to read the few over and 
over to you, until you had memorized 
them. But I doubt if you would do 
it," replied Mrs. Parke, understanding 
her son's thought. 



THE FIRST BATTLE 95; 

"OH, I didn't mean for you to repeat 
and repeat — that would become monot- 
onous for us all ; wouldn't it, Martha?" 
said George anxiously. 

"Yes, indeed! Just stop where you 
were, mother, and give us time to think 
over what you have read," responded 
Martha. 

"No, do not stop there, but read some 
other part of American history," hinted 
George. 

"I think I will continue the precepts," 
said Mrs. Parke meaningly, and the 
two culprits sighed and resigned them- 
selves as well as they could to the in- 
evitable. 

" *26. Speak not injurious words, 
neither in jest nor in earnest; scoff at 
none, though they give occasion. 

" '27. Be not forward, but friendly 
and courteous; the first to salute, hear 
and answer ; and be not pensive when it 
is time to converse. 

" '28. Detract not from others, 
neither be excessive in commending. 

" '29. Go not thither, where you 
know not whether you shall be welcome 



96 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

or not. Give not advice without being 
asked, and when desired do it briefly. 

" *30. Reprehend not the imperfec- 
tions of others ; for that belongs to par- 
ents, masters and superiors. 

" '31. Gaze not on the marks or 
blemishes of others, and ask not how 
they came. What you may speak in 
secret to your friend, deliver not before 
others. 

" '32. When another speaks, be at- 
tentive yourself, and disturb not the 
audience. If a man hesitates in his 
words help him not, nor prompt him 
without being desired; interrupt him 
not, nor answer him till his speech be 
ended. 

" '33. Make no comparisons ; and if 
any of the company be commended for 
any brave act of virtue, commend not 
another for the same. 

" '34. Be not apt to relate news if 
you know not the truth thereof. In dis- 
coursing of things you have heard, 
name not your author always. A secret 
discover not. 

*35. Undertake not what you can- 



ii i. 



THE FIRST BATTLE 97 

not perform, but be careful to keep 
your promise. 

" '36. Speak not evil of the absent, 
for it is unjust. 

" *37. Set not yourself at the upper 
end of the table, but if it be your due, 
or that the master of the house will have 
it so, contend not lest you should trou- 
ble the company. 

** *38. When you speak of God, or 
His attributes, let it be seriously, in rev- 
erence. Honor and obey your natural 
parents, though they be poor. 

" *39. Let your recreations be man- 
ful, not sinful. 

" *40. Labor to keep alive in your 
breast that little spark of celestial fire 
called conscience.' " 

As Mrs. Parke concluded the for- 
tieth precept, George sat up with an 
eager expression and Martha heaved a 
profound sigh of mingled weariness 
and relief. 

"Now, mother, read the story of the 
first battle!" cried George. 

"I had better postpone that for the 
teacher to read. We expect you to start 



98 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

regular lessons shortly," replied Mrs. 
Parke. 

"Oh, but we would rather have you ! 
You read it so real for us," exclaimed 
Martha coaxingly. 

"I don't think I will read it now, but 
I will tell you a short story of it," 
answered the mother, thoughtfully 
weighing the possibilities of these two 
devoted followers of the great general 
being able to find anything suggestive 
of more mischief in what she was about 
to relate. 

Feeling quite sure that her tale would 
Be harmless, she began: 

"The long-legged, lank, hollow- 
chested, awkward boy had now grown 
into a stalwart man, commanding-look- 
ing, powerful in physique, gracious 
though dignified, and in fact, as perfect 
and desirable a leader as could be found 
the world over at that time. 

"He was a loyal subject of the Eng- 
lish sovereign, and never dreamed of 
hostilities against the Crown, but he 
was, as many other English subjects, a 
foe to the French — the very nation that 



THE FIRST BATTLE 99 

later was to become the friend and 
helper of the colonists. 

"When the French began trespassing 
on lands that the Crown called its own, 
it became necessary for Governor Din- 
widdle to send the ablest man he could 
find to negotiate with the Indian tribes, 
and warn the French to refrain from 
further trespassing on English territory. 

"The man selected for this arduous 
errand and important mission, was the 
young surveyor, now twenty-one years 
of age, who threw off the temptations 
of social life at his country estates, and 
all the delights that go with a favorite's 
career, to serve his colony and people 
at this momentous period. 

"He combined a profound knowl- 
edge of Indian craft and cunning, and 
having heard of the machinations of 
the French, he started out with an im- 
pelling determination to succeed in his 
mission, that carried all obstacles from 
his pathway. 

"In company with a French interpre- 
ter, a scout, and four Indian traders and 
servants, he started out for Ohio to con- 



100 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

fer on as delicate a subject as had ever 
presented itself to a diplomat. 

"After meeting and having council 
with the sachems of the Indian tribes, 
Washington secured help from the Red 
Men in safeguarding their property 
and their lives against the French In- 
dians, who had taken up the 'hatchet^ 
against them. 

"Through marshes, pathless forests, 
over cliffs, down mountainsides, and 
surmounting every barrier of progress 
of the intrepid Commander Washing- 
ton, the Red Men fought side by side 
with the white brothers until they 
reached the vicinity of Fort Duquesne, 
the French settlement on the site of 
which now is the great city of Pitts- 
burg. 

"Here Washington delivered the mes- 
sage from Dinwiddie, and at the same: 
time used his apt powers to the utmost 
to learn the ability and energy of the 
French, the cunning and customs of 
the Indians, so that he might know 
just what would result from his visit to 
Fort Le Boeuf. 



THE FIRST BATTLE 101 

"TEe puElicatlon of Washington's 
reports roused the people to the danger 
menacing their country, and as the 
French continued their advance down 
the Ohio valley, the English realized 
that it must be stopped. But how? 

"Washington described the lay of the 
land where the Monongahela and Al- 
leghany rivers rushed together to form 
the Ohio, and he recommended the 
building of a fort at this site which 
^ould command the situation, making 
a veritable key to the West — the vast 
land where no white man had yet ven- 
tured. 

"Governor Dinwiddle was quick to 
grasp the wisdom of the plan, and im- 
mediately raised and equipped two com- 
panies, of one hundred men each, 
Washington to command one, and Wil- 
liam Trent the other. Orders given 
said that the men were to proceed at 
once to the establishment by the *Ohio 
Company' of a fort, which would be 
'defensive of the great grants of land 
ito settlers, but would also act on the 
'offensive, should any one interfere with 



102 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

or resist the performance of the laws 
and regulations of the English. 

"Washington was not in sole com- 
mand of this band of 200 picked men, 
but an Oxford graduate named Colonel 
Joshua Fry. The young Virginian was 
second in command. 

"But the expedition failed, Fry dying 
at Winchester, and Trent's command 
being surrounded and captured by Con- 
trecoeur, the French commander at the 
Forks, then called Duquesne in honor 
of the governor-general of Canada. 

"This left the supreme command on 
Washington, now twenty-two years of 
age. The difficulties of the situation in 
trackless woods without food or ammu- 
nition, fordless rivers to cross, almost 
impassable forests to be hewn for trails, 
vague rumors of French companies fill- 
ing the men with alarm of an ambush, 
show what the young commander had 
to contend with. 

"Finally, Washington reached the In- 
dians' camp where the Half-King con- 
sented to go with the white men to 
strike the French. After an engage- 



THE FIRST BATTLE 103 

merit of about fifteen minutes, the 
French company was beaten. Ten 
were killed, one wounded and twenty- 
one prisoners were taken at this battle. 

"After the skirmish, the Half-King 
sent the Frenchmen's scalps with a 
hatchet, to all the Indian tribes in 
union with him. So the Mingoes and 
Shawanese promised to join in the war. 

"This little skirmish was really the 
beginning of the war that set Europe 
on fire. The death of Jumonville 
brought reinforcements to the garrison 
at Duquesne, and with the French from 
Montreal came a large force of In- 
dians. Commands were given to kill 
the English anywhere — on soil claimed 
by the French or on their own territory. 

"From Indian scouts, the French 
learned of the position held by Wash- 
ington, and in a short time the two 
forces met. 

"From the few in numbers, and the 
poor position held by Washington, sur- 
rounded as he was on all sides by the 
superior forces of the French, the Eng- 
lish were overpowered, and after a par- 



104 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

ley, were permitted to retreat with fly- 
ing colors and beat of drum, while the 
victors took possession of the place. 

"At the beginning of the attack, the 
French had killed all the horses, cattle, 
and living creatures they could find, so 
that the English had to carry away 
their wounded on their backs to a place 
of safety where they were left with a 
guard, while the rest of the company 
made forced marches to a place sixty 
miles distant, where inhabitants could 
be found to help in the distressful cir- 
cumstances. 

"The bravery and spirit displayed by 
Colonel Washington and his little band 
toward the superior forces of the 
French at Fort Necessity, drew from 
the burgesses hearty appreciation and 
a vote of thanks to the gallant young 
commander who had held out so long 
against the foe. 

"One excellent purpose this first de- 
feat of Washington's served: It roused 
the colonies like an alarm-bell, to the 
immediate co-operation, combination, 
and concentration of ways and means 



THE FIRST BATTLE 105 

to resist the peril now shadowing the 
western frontier. 

"About this time France was consid- 
ered irresistible on land, with her i8o,- 
000 veterans, as England was on the 
seas, where she had over two hundred 
warships. So when eighteen French 
warships started out with 3,000 regu- 
lars for the mouth of the St. Lawrence 
in Canada, an English fleet set sail in 
pursuit to destroy this formidable 
armada. 

"The fogs off the coast of Newfound- 
land, however, assisted the French 
boats to escape with the loss of but 
three of the fleet. The English were 
informed of the failure of the enter- 
prise, and General Braddock was sent 
with regular troops to fight unseen dan- 
gers in the New World. By February, 
1755, the gallant Britishers were landed 
at Hampton Roads. 

"After a conference of five gover- 
nors, Braddock was apportioned to the 
least attractive of all points — Duquesne. 
No horses or wagons, no food for the 
army, no arrangements of the necessary 



106 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

kind, had been planned for by the col- 
onists, and Braddock fumed and abused 
everybody for the lack of preparedness. 

"But Benjamin Franklin secured a 
hundred and fifty wagons and outfits 
for the regulars, so that they could 
move to their destination. Thus the fa- 
mous Franklin took his well-earned 
place in the lime-light of the American 
public. 

"Braddock had heard of Washington 
and his unusual qualities, and at once 
invited the young soldier to accompany 
him in this important mission against 
the French. 

"Washington was flattered by the let- 
ter and invitation, and replied at once 
that he would gladly serve, if he be per- 
mitted to return should inaction in war 
warrant it, to look after important busi- 
ness affairs of his own. 

"Braddock willingly conceded these 
requests, for he knew the value of an 
experienced soldier and forester such 
as the young American was. 

"But spring passed and summer was 
well on, and still the army had not left 



THE FIRST BATTLE 107 

Fort Cumberland, the place of assem- 
bly, one hundred and forty miles from 
Fort Duquesne. Fifty-two miles be- 
yond Fort Cumberland lay Fort Neces- 
sity, only too familiar to Washington 
as the scene of his capitulation to the 
French a few months previous. 

"About the middle of June the army 
began to cleave its difficult pathway 
through a primeval forest. So arduous 
was this work, that in ten days the men 
had but hewn thirty miles from their 
starting point. As is now known, all 
this work was a great blunder. The 
army should have followed Franklin's 
advice — landed at Philadelphia, ad- 
vanced westward through the popu- 
lated fertile country of Pennsylvania^ 
and finished the campaign in six weeks. 
As it was, however, it took four and 
a half months to end the game. 

"At Frazier, seven miles from Du- 
quesne, the British were unexpectedly 
attacked by about nine hundred French- 
men and Indians. At this time Brad- 
dock had about thirteen hundred men 
plunging ignorantly into the wilder- 



108 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

ness, never dreaming of sending out 
scouts or skirmishers, although the Vir- 
ginians were fully aware of the dangers 
of the advance, and futilely advised 
the practise in Indian warfare. 

"But it was the mistreatment of the 
Iroquois Indians that wrought Brad- 
dock's ruin, for when the forests echoed 
with the war-cries of the Indians, the 
forest trees became living columns of 
fire, and the stately forest aisles were 
choked with smoke. 

"A thousand gallant British and Vir- 
ginians lay pierced with bullets, ar- 
rows, and scalped with tomahawks. 
Only twenty-three out of the eighty-six 
officers escaped, while Braddock was 
shot down when his men began the wild 
rush backward. 

"Washington, weakened by fever, 
broken in mind by the fatality, buried 
the misguided general where the sav- 
ages could not discover the grave. 

"But it was this second defeat that 
primed Washington's nerves and Heart 
against all defeat, and showed him that 
the hitherto invincible Britain was only 



THE FIRST BATTLE 109 

invincible under certain conditions. He 
began recruiting men, and in May, 
1756, war was formally declared against 
France." 



CHAPTER VII 

HOW GEORGE APPLIED HISTORY 

DURING the story told by Mrs. 
Parke, George sat thinking in- 
tently over the scenes depicted, 
wishing he had been with the British 
general and the intrepid Washington 
through that awesome march and flight 
in the forest. 

Martha sat listening with intense in- 
terest to the historical sketch delineated 
by her mother, and sighed as she heard 
the story was ended for that day. 

"Now, children, run out to play — 
but remember to play quietly so that 
baby will not awaken. And don't play 
with fire or run away to camp again !" 
advised Mrs. Parke. 

"No, we won't, mother ; but where is 
Jim? We haven't seen him for the past 

no 



GEORGE APPLIES HISTORY 111 

few days," asked George, who had a 
plan for play all developed and ready 
to put to the test. 

"Why, Jim is over at Grahams' visit- 
ing, but he is expected back this noon, 
his mammy told me. By the way, did 
you children know that Mrs. Graham 
brought John's cousins and aunty back 
from Washington, and the three chil- 
dren are now visiting John?" 

"No, are they?" gasped George 
eagerly. 

"How big are they?" asked Martha. 

"The two boys are seven and twelve, 
and the girl is about nine. They are 
yery nice children, but not accustomed 
to country life as you are," replied Mrs. 
Parke, opening the door to go out. 
. "Mother, mayn't we ask them over 
to play with us?" cried George, quickly 
following Mrs. Parke from the room. 

"Why, certainly, if Mrs. Graham has 
no other plans for their amusement. I 
will 'phone her if you wish." 

So George and Martha stood by their 
mother's side while she asked, and heard 
that John and his cousins would be de- 



112 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

lighted to spend the afternoon at the 
Parkes'. 

Mrs. Parke warned the two again 
about playing in a nice, quiet manner 
when the visitors arrived, and then she 
hurried to the nursery to look after 
baby. 

Before she had turned the corner of 
the stairway, George was half-way 
down the basement stairs in search for 
Jim. He was successful, too, for Jim 
had returned home to his mammy an 
hour before, had been made much over 
in the guise of a large slice of mince 
pie, and now sat on the stone step of 
the areaway, pensively digesting his 
feast. 

"Jinfi, come along! John's cousins 
are coming over to play with us!" whis- 
pered George eagerly, watching alertly 
lest the cook hear or see him beguiling 
Jim. 

In another moment both boys were 
up the steps and over the grass to meet 
Martha, who stood waiting under the 
lilacs, as usual, the meeting-place for 
all concerned. 



GEORGE APPLIES HISTORY 113 

"Dem Washerton chilluns am a great 
trouble to der mudder," exclaimed Jim, 
rolling his eyes backward. 

"Oh, yes! I forgot you were over at 
John's. Do tell me what they are like," 
said George. 

"Wall, all Fse kin say, is dat you'se 
two an' Marse John am angels to dem 
free from Washerton — ^mah daddy 
sayed so!" said Jim, with an all-wise 
air acquired since his travels to the ad- 
joining estate. 

"Humph! We'll show them some 
sport they never had in a city!" bragged 
George, determined not to have three 
strangers from Washington take the 
lead in play when he was around. 

A cat-call drew the attention of the 
.three waiting under the lilac bush, to 
four running children coming over the 
lawns from the direction of the high 
stone wall on the side between Parkes' 
and Grahams' boundary line. 

"Where'd you come from?" won- 
dered Martha, keenly eying the city 
girl. 

"Hoh I George and I could not com- 



114 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

pete in climbing and running with Jack 
and Bob ! And Win keeps up with her 
brothers!" proudly explained John, then 
signifying that Win was Winifred, his 
cousin, while Jack was the oldest, and 
Bob the youngest boy, of the visiting 
group. 

"I've got a great plan to play. Just 
heard all about Washington's first real 
battle, and it will make great sport if 
we take sides and play it properly,'* 
said George, too eager to explain his 
plans to stop for company's sake. 

"We were just coming over to see 
what we could do to have some fun,'* 
said Jack. 

"How shall we play it?" asked Win, 
showing a readiness to take part in her 
brothers' fun that quite won Martha's 
approval. 

"Why, I'm always George Washing- 
ton, you know — seeing that he was my 
relative," the latter addition coming 
from George, as a semi-apology for se- 
lecting the leading character. 

"Now, one of you boys can be Gen- 
eral Braddock or the French com- 



GEORGE APPLIES HISTORY 115 

mander — ^whichever you like. And the 
two will choose sides. If the French 
take Bob the British take John. Then 
there is Jim for an Indian, and me for 
Washington. The two girls can be sol- 
diers, too. What do you say?/' con- 
cluded George. 

"Great! I'll be the Frenchman and 
John can be Braddock!" replied Jack 
instantly. 

"All right, then I'll choose George, 
and you can have Bob. Jim will have 
to be fought over to see who wins the 
Indian, and the girls can choose whom 
they want to fight with," replied John. 

The next thing was to find suitable 
uniforms and ammunition. This was 
a difficult matter, as it necessitated the 
entering of the old attic of the Parkes* 
house. And should any adult be prowl- 
ing about when George and Martha 
crept up the three flights of colonial 
stairs, it might interrupt the entire pro- 
ceeding of the most decisive and cer- 
tainly the greatest war these country 
colonists had ever dared to hope for. 

Hence, many were the admonitions 



116 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

and advices whispered as they started 
off, leaving the French and British ar- 
mies agreed to wait under the side win- 
dows and catch any equipment that 
might come flying down from the attic 
windows. 

George and Martha reached the sec- 
ond floor landing without meeting any 
one, but in turning the short hall to 
mount the third floor stairs, they en- 
countered Jim's mother coming down. 

"Whar yo' all creepin' lak dat?" de- 
manded she. 

"Nowhere — only going to the attic to 
Hunt for some things we want to play 
with," instantly replied the alert 
IGeorge. 

"Whar's dat Jim? Got him wid you 
agin in some more uv yo' tom-foolery?" 
asked the cook suspiciously. 

"No, Aunt Jenny, we have company 
and we're all going to play out in the 
fields," said George, running upstairs 
to cut short any further catechism. 

Martha followed after her brother 
and the cook stood looking after them 
[for some time, but not seeing them re- 



GEORGE APPLIES HISTORY; 117 

appear with any doubtful package, she 
continued on down to her kitchen. 

Naturally, the children would not be 
carrying packages down the dangerous 
passageway from attic to battlefield, 
when they could toss the things out of 
the window to the grass below. 

To George's great delight, he found 
a bunch of turkey feathers tied ready 
for dusters that winter. A great bou- 
quet of these was tied in a Roman- 
striped table scarf and dropped from 
the window. 

"Here's an old brass-buttoned coat 
that Lewis's grandpa's butler used to 
wear," whispered Martha, hauling into 
sight from a massive trunk the faded*' 
green uniform. 

"What a find! Maybe there's more 
of 'em!" excitedly suggested George, 
helping pull the things from the chest. 

They found the coachman's livery 
complete, with gray beaver hat and 
cockade. At the very bottom of this 
mine they also drew out a relic of the 
Civil War, an old veteran's complete 
uniform, with its cap and knapsack. 



118 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"Oh, how wonderful!" sighed Mar- 
tha with clasped hands. "George, please 
promise me that Win and I may dress 
up too, and not fight in girls' skirts!" 

"Oh, I don't know! Maybe there 
won't be any uniforms left for you 
girls." 

"Yes, there will be, too ! I found this 
chest, and we girls will have first pick 
out of them or you won't get any!" de- 
clared Martha defiantly. 

George was so amazed at his sister's 
attitude, showing him plainly that wo- 
men of the present day will not be or- 
dered about by mere males, that he 
bowed meekly to her commands. 

Everything that could be utilized in 
the forthcoming battle was sent flying 
down from the attic windows, and then 
the two pilferers crept downstairs. 

When they reached the porch not a 
thing could be seen of either clothing 
or soldiers, but a careful whistle guided 
them to the hedge back of the lilac 
bushes. 

"We'll have great fun with these 
clothes!" Jack complimented George. 



GEORGE APPLIES HISTORY 119 

"I told Martha that Win and she 
could have first choice of the stuff to 
dress up in," added George magnani- 
mously. 

"The girls! Why, they can't fight 
like we can," objected Bob. 

"All the same they're our uniforms, 
and I found them!" retorted Martha, 
handling the items to make her selec- 
tion. 

"Let me tell you what to do. I'm 
oldest here," said Jack. "Martha take 
one article first. Win the next, George 
the next, me next, John after me, then 
Bob, and then Jim." 

"Fine ! Hurry up, Martha, and take 
something," agreed George. 

So Martha, eager to graduate out of 
girls' skirts, took the coachman's striped 
knee-breeches. 

"Now, Win, your turn next," said 
Jack. 

And Winifred, who had beautiful 
long curls which she detested, chose 
the cocked hat, under which she tucked 
her tresses. 

"Now George!" 



120 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

Then George selected the brass-but- 
toned coat of the old veteran's grand- 
uncle. 

Jack chose the butler's faded coat 
with brass buttons. John looked the 
items over and took the coachman's 
gray beaver hat, Bob the trousers, and 
then it was Jim's turn. 

True to instinct, Jim chose the striped 
Roman table scarf. 

"Boys! Just the thing! We'll dress 
Jim in the scarf and tie a bunch of 
feathers to his head. I can get some 
red chalk from the school-room and 
streak war-paint on his face and chest !'* 
cried George, with repressed excite- 
ment. 

"Fine!" "Great!" and "Wonderful !" 
sounded from the others, but Jim pon- 
dered this new plan, wondering whether 
this might mean the unpleasant repeti- 
tion of a scene like the homestead fire. 

When all the garments were divided, 
they were apportioned thus: Martha 
had the breeches and vest of different 
uniforms ; Winifred, the hat and coat of 
others; George, the coat and scabbard; 



GEORGE APPLIES HISTORY 121 

Jack, the butler's coat and a pair of 
long white duck trousers; John, the 
coachman's coat and beaver hat; Bob, 
the trousers and an odd coat, and Jim 
the scarf, feathers and a dull, small axe 
from the wood-cellar, picked up as 
George ran out of the areaway. 

They were soon arrayed, and no one 
being willing to go to the house for 
the red chalk, it was decided to add a 
few more turkey feathers to his costume 
and streak his face and neck with 
grease from the garage supply. 

Down back of the row of poplars 
near the stone wall — as far from the 
barns and house as it was possible to 
go — the contending armies arranged to 
fight out the war between England and 
France. 

"You French have to climb that wall 
and hold the fort on the other side, 
while we chop through the forest here 
and get up to fight you away," said 
John, looking up and down the wall- 
line for a better suggestion. 

"Ah no, we can't fight that way, 
Johnnie," argued Jack. "Let's go on 



122 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

to the hedge fence and fight through 
that. Then we can lay traps, shoot 
through and catch prisoners." 

This brilliant plan was immediately 
accepted, and the soldiers took their 
Tespective sides. 

"Which side does Ah b'long to?" 
asked Jim wistfully. 

"We don't know yet, Jim. You're 
an Iroquois brave, and we will both 
try to get you," said George, pushing 
Jim into the hedge, where he was asked 
to hide and shoot arrows at both sides. 

The ammunition used was composed 
of beans, shot from pea-shooters, which 
every boy carries in his pockets. Jim 
had an armful of short sticks to throw 
■for arrows, and the generals each had 
a genuine weapon — one the broken 
sword and the other its scabbard, that 
came from the chest in the attic. 

That was a fearful battle — shots flew 
back and forth, stinging the soldiers 
with the impact of the hard beans; the 
two generals commanded and counter- 
manded orders so rapidly and wildly 
that both sides ran hither and thither 



GEORGE APPLIES HISTORY 123 

without obeying any order. Jim, 
dressed scantily in the long brilliant 
scarf and plenty of turkey feathers, re- 
ceived most of the shot, as he was di- 
rectly on the firing line in the hedge,' 
until the French commander pulled; 
him out and had him fight on their, 
side. ! 

The fine green hedge was fast being 
demolished by the war, when Jack 
shouted: "It's time for Braddock to 
die!" 

I ^ "Well, why don't you send your In- 
dian over to scalp him?" called George, 
meantime shooting with such good aim 
that the bean went right into Jack's 
opened mouth. 

After sputtering over the shot, Jack 
sent the Iroquois creeping carefully 
through a new breach in the fort, and 
just as General Braddock and Wash- 
ington decided that Jim was too timid 
to come over and fight, Martha 
screamed a warning shout; but it was 
too late. 

With true savage subtlety of war- 
fare, Jim brought down the blunt, small 



124 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

axe on Braddock's head, wHere the stiff 
beaver fortunately broke the blow. 
Even as it vi^as, the British general top- 
pled over from the onslaught, and had 
to gasp for a moment to recover his 
breath. 

A wild shout rent the air as Jim 
jumped and danced a war-dance, swing- 
ing his axe and yelling wildly. So un- 
expected was this part of the pro- 
gram that the French abandoned 
their easily-acquired victory and came 
eagerly through the hedge to watcK 
Jim's antics. 

"You lay still where you are, Brad- 
dock," commanded the young Wash- 
ington. "I've got to bury you before 
this Indian gets here to scalp you !" 

(Whether John would have received 
proper burial, or the Iroquois be dis- 
suaded from scalping his victim, can- 
not be said, for the gardener and chauf- 
feur came upon the war scene, having 
heard the yells of the French when they 
downed the British general. ^ 

The sight which met their eyes was 
so funny that both men doubled over^ 



' GEORGE 'APPLIES HISTORY 125 

in mirth, and wisHed the families could 
have witnessed this battle scene. 

Being discovered as they were, the 
children begged the two amused wit- 
nesses not to tell any one. Then John 
was pulled out of the stiff, gray beaver, 
which had been driven down over his 
entire face with the blow from the axe, 
and Jim was ordered back to civilized 
clothing, much against his inclination, 
ifor paint, war-bonnet and Roman- 
stripes suited his tastes exactly. 

The bundles of clothing were rolled 
together and left in charge of the gar- 
dener, who agreed to smuggle them 
back to the attic via the housemaid, his 
daughter. But his promise was ignored 
the moment he saw his favorite hedge. 

"Whad* yo' mean by smashin' dat fine 
haidge lak dat? D'yoh know it tuk us 
five yeahs t' grow dat same bushes lak 
dat?" 

"Well, when two nations fight, every- 
thing goes — they never stop just for 
houses, lands and hedges!" retorted 
George. 

"But yo* all destructed more'n forty 



126 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

feet uv dis haidge, an' yoh diden have 
t' use more'n six feet ef yo' had t' fight !"- 
wailed the poor man. 

Suddenly from the other side of the 
hedge, came smothered cries and 
amazed exclamations, as Mrs. Graham 
and her friend peered at, and then 
through the well broken-down hedge, 
and beheld the victorious and van- 
quished soldiers in all their battle array. 

Immediately there followed a retreat 
of both armies that spoke well for the 
immediate future friendship of the ene- 
mies, for now they had met a common i 
(Waterloo which would necessitate im-' 
mediate flight and swiftness to circum-i 
vent deserved punishment and impris- 
onment. 



CHAPTER VIII 

DELIGHTFUL IMPRISONMENT 

MRS. GRAHAM soon reached the 
Parke house and asked to see the 
mistress at once. Fearing some- 
thing had happened to her mischievous 
children, Mrs. Parke ran downstairs 
and into, the room where the two ladies 
awaited her coming. 

"Anything dreadful happen?" cried 
Mrs. Parke, as soon as she had greeted 
the ladies. 

"Nothing more than a decisive battle 
between the British and French. But 
the scene of the fight is what has hap- 
pened," said Mrs. Graham, with annoy- 
ance at the thought of the hedge. 

"What is it? — I haven't heard or seen 
a thing. The little ones are out play- 
ing about somewhere with John and 

127 



128 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

his cousins," declared Mrs. Parke, still 
in the dark. 

"Maybe they were, but they are not 
now. I fancy they are hiding safely 
somewhere. But let me tell you as much 
as I know." 

The story of how the two ladies, 
while walking in the rose-garden, heard 
shouts and yells coming from the ex- 
treme end of the property line, and hur- 
ried over to find the hedge almost hewn 
and broken to pieces, while Jack, com- 
manding the French, had just nego- 
tiated with the gardener for the safe 
conduct of the uniforms to the attic 
again, was told to an eager listener. 

At the conclusion of how the soldiers 
fled indiscriminately, Mrs. Parke cov- 
ered her face with both hands and 
laughed till the tears rolled from her 
eyes. 

"It*s all very well for you to laugh, 
Kate, but just think of what might have 
happened if John had not been pro- 
tected by that stiff beaver hat," said 
Mrs. Graham angrily. 

"Then I wouldn't have laughed. But 



delightful; imprisonment 129 

he was protected, so why conjure up 
things that might have been?" said Mrs. 
Parke. 

"Because these children must be 
taught once for all that in one of their 
Revolutionary escapades, one of them 
might be very dangerously injured — 
perhaps fatally so! John is my son, 
you know." 

"Yes, as much yours as George is 
mine, but children are especially pro- 
tected by an all-seeing Providence. I'd 
rather have them play in good outdoor 
exercise, such as these Washington 
ideas give them, than to have them sulk, 
or lounge and tease each other about the 
house or verandas. At least, you will 
admit that they are never at a loss for 
something to keep them occupied." 

"Most assuredly not!" sighed Mrs. 
Graham emphatically. 

"Well, I always punish my two 
youngsters when they do anything too 
wild or unexpected, just to keep them 
within bounds, but I wouldn't think of 
forbidding them to play Washington 
to their hearts' content, even if a hedge 



130 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS ^ 

is broken down, or some old family; 
relics are utilized for the game." 

"Well, under the circumstances, I 
suppose you are willing to pacify the 
gardener for the damaged hedge, as 
well as pay for the new one," said Mrs. 
Graham, smiling feebly at the result of 
her visit, 

"I will not have much trouble witK 
the gardener, as he is the sworn ally 
of those children. As for the hedge, I 
should think you would rather pay for 
a broken bush than for a son's broken 
head," teased Mrs. Parke laughingly. 

So it was decided that each side pay 
half of the costs, and both mothers 
punish again the participants in the 
life of Washington, although it seemed 
doubtful if the children would ever be 
cured of the desire to try a new ex- 
perience. 

The day following the great battle 
at the hedge, George and Martha were 
told to remain in the attic as a punish- 
ment. Now, both thought this a dread- 
ful hardship, although had they been 
told not to go near the attic, both would 



DELIGHTFUL IMPRISONMENT 131 

certainly have delighted in trying to get 
as near to it as was possible, without 
actually breaking their word or being 
downright disobedient. 

But a fine drizzle began falling about 
ten o'clock, and as this would have 
spoiled the day for outdoor fun, George 
sighed : 

"It's all for the best, Martha! Here' 
we are in the dry attic with wonderful 
trunks and chests still to be examined, 
while the day might have been fine, and 
made us feel sorry to stay in." 

"Yes, but I wonder what John and 
the French are doing?" wondered 
Martha. 

"Jack said they were going back to 
Washington to-day or to-morrow morn- 
ing, so I don't s'pose we will see them 
again." 

Martha went over to the window to 
look out toward the Grahams' house, 
which could be seen from their third- 
floor windows. But no one was to be 
seen at the Grahams', and she turned 
to walk away, when she spied an old 
book-case filled with huge volumes, for- 



132 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

merly the library sets of her grand- 
father Parke. 

While George rummaged about the 
old chests and trunks, Martha looked 
over the titles of the old red morocco 
bindings, and finally called to her 
brother : 

"George, here's a pictured life of 
Washington. Help me lift it down — it 
is so heavy." 

Eager for amusement, George ran 
over, and together they carried the large 
tome to the old-fashioned settle by the 
window, and knelt down before it to 
look at the pictures. 

After turning over the first pictures 
in the book, Martha said: "Oh, see! 
here is one of the battle scenes we 
fought yesterday. This is the *Battle of 
Monongahela!'" 

Both children studied the expressions 
of the savages, as they scalped the luck- 
less soldiers, and the courage of Wash- 
ington, who bravely called "Forward!" 
to his handful of men while a mass of 
Indians stood ready to scalp every one 
of them. 



DELIGHTFUE IMPRISONMENT 133 

"Say, Martha, aren't you thankful we 
had a Washington in America?" said 
George, as his sister turned the page. 

"Yes, indeed! Just think of what 
would have happened if he had never 
been born," sighed Martha, with relief 
that he had. 

"Here's where they are burying Gen- 
eral Braddock. See the men crying, 
and some of 'em holding torches in the 
dark woods so they can see to dig the 
grave," said George reverently at the 
awesome sight. 

"The next chapter in the book is all 
about the Battle of Lake George. See 
the men in the boats rowing across the 
lake?" said Martha, turning the page 
on the death scene that made George 
act so strangely different from his us- 
ual independent self. 

"Mother never read us that; s'pose 
we take turns in reading it to each 
other while we are shut up here?" ven- 
tured George. 

"So we will, and maybe we'll show 
mother that we know more about Wash- 
ington than she thinks; we do," and 



134 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

Martha arranged the cumbersome vol- 
ume so that it was easier to read from. 

"I'll read first, and then you take 
your turn," said she. 

" 'The expeditions against Niagara 
and Crown Point failed, but the fail- 
ures were not as disastrous as that of 
Duquesne. The troops of the northern 
sections assembled at Albany, and Shir- 
ley took command of the one against 
Niagara; but many delays caused the 
men to be held at Albany until the sea- 
son was well advanced. The army was 
composed of regiments from New 
York, New Jersey, New England, and 
a few Indians. 

" Tn July he began the march for 
Oswego, but on the way he heard of 
the dreadful news of Braddock's defeat, 
and this spread such consternation 
through the ranks that many men de- 
serted, while the Indians showed signs 
of turning to the stronger of the war 
parties. 

" Tt was late in August that he finally 
managed to reach Oswego, where he 
made a strenuous effort to fill up his 



DELIGHTFUL IMPRISONMENT 135 

ranks. All the Indians deserted here, 
and he finally started out for Niagara, 
but heavy rains and sickness in the 
ranks caused him to give up this plan. 
So leaving seven hundred men to gar- 
rison the fort at Oswego, he started 
back with the remainder of his army to 
Albany. 

" 'The army destined for Crown 
Point consisted of about 5,000 men un- 
der the command of Johnson. Impa- 
tient to start the campaign, this com- 
mander collected equipment and sent it 
to a place about sixty miles above Al- 
bany. 

" 'Here a fort was erected, and hav- 
ing left a few men to garrison it, the 
others advanced to the southern ex- 
tremity of Lake George. Here Johnson 
heard that the enemy was erecting a 
fort at the opposite end of the lake, 
about fifteen miles below Crown Point. 

" 'He was about to move against the 
enemy, thus hoping to reduce the work 
on the fort before it could be defended, 
but information caused him to change 
his plans. 



136 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

" *The news was, that Baron DIeskau 
had arrived in Canada from France 
with a large army, and with the 
Canadians and Indians was now ad- 
vancing rapidly to attack the English 
settlements. The dire news was sent to 
the colonies, and Johnson began to for- 
tify his camp. He secretly conveyed a 
few cannons from Fort Edward to his 
camp, and doubling his spies and 
scouts, awaited attack. 

" 'Dieskau proceeded to Oswego, but 
hearing of Johnson's advance on 
Crown Point, he directed operations 
against him, sure of an easy victory. 
The Frenchman's contempt for the 
English was increased when Johnson, 
through mistaken information, sent 
forth a thousand men to attack the 
French, who were said to be advancing 
incautiously in companies. 

" 'Needless to say that the report had 
been given out by the French them- 
selves, and the moment the English 
were far enough from camp to be 
trapped, they were surrounded and 
many were slain; but the greater part 



PELIGHTFUL IMPRISONMENT 137 

of the detachment escaped to camp, 
closely pursued by the victorious 
French. 

" 'Dieskau had heard that Johnson 
had no artillery at camp, and confident 
of victory, he formed his men to ad- 
vance in true military style, instead of 
attacking the fort at once. 

" 'Johnson, determined to fight cour- 
ageously and defend the camp to the 
last, uncovered the cannons, which so 
confused the enemy that they fled to the 
woods, leaving Dieskau's ranks in 
greater confusion than if a rout had 
caused it. 

" 'The French regulars, however, 
stood their ground and opened a brisk 
fire on the camp, which continued for 
several hours. 

" 'The engagement lasted until the 
French were compelled to retire, after 
the loss of more than i,ooo men, 
Dieskau being mortally wounded also, 
and made prisoner. His remaining 
army, preparing to rest and reform 
their company, were surprised, attacked 
and all fled in greatest confusion, leav- 



138 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS " 

ing their baggage and equipment be- 
hind. 

" 'Johnson did not follow up this vic- 
tory, as it was late in the autumn, and 
he decided that it was a hazard too great 
to risk under the conditions. So he 
built Fort William Henry at the south- 
ern end of the lake, and leaving 600 
men to garrison it, disbanded the re- 
mainder of his army. 

" 'Thus did the three main expedi- 
tions fail, and at the end of 1755 the 
French were more firmly planted in 
North America than ever before. 

" 'Having won so easily the land at 
Crown Point, and having won other 
important points, as well as having 
built or strengthened many forts, the 
French influenced the vacillating minds 
of the Indians, who began flocking to 
their standard. 

" 'But when the French endeavored 
to encourage the Cherokees to join 
their side, the attempt only caused this 
powerful nation to become firmer al- 
lies of Great Britain, and by a treaty 
made with the governor of South Car- 



DELIGHTFUE IMPRISONMENT 139 

olina, they voluntarily ceded to the king 
of Great Britain a large portion of their 
territory. 

" 'The defeat of Braddock and the 
flight of Dunbar left the frontier of 
Virginia exposed to the horrors of In- 
dian warfare. Then the Assembly 
voted money and men for the protection 
of the colonists. 

" 'Colonel Washington, being the 
ablest man in the colony, was appointed 
commander-in-chief of the Virginia 
forces. With but a thousand men, some- 
times not more than seven hundred, the 
young commander was expected to de- 
fend a frontier of more than three hun- 
dred miles in extent, against savages of 
the crudest type. 

" 'But feeling that no time could be 
lost, Washington proceeded to inspect 
the condition of the frontier defences. 
He made his headquarters at Winches- 
ter on the 14th of September, 1755, and 
thence visited the different forts. While 
on this work, reports came that Indians 
had attacked and were massacring the 
settlers of the back settlements. 



140 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS ' 

" 'Washington immediately changed 
his course and hurried to Winchester 
to induce the terrified people to unite 
in defending their families. But his 
commands were of no avail, in the face 
of the frightful deeds, and the fears of 
the people, and the enemy fled with 
their plunder and captives to security 
afforded them by the guns at Fort Du- 
quesne. 

" 'The young commander knew that 
repetitions of such acts could only be 
stopped by securing the fort of the 
French on the Ohio. But this was an 
impossibility, because of few men and 
no means. And he could not induce 
the Assembly to increase either, to make 
it possible to protect the frontier prop- 
erly.' 

"That's as far as I want to read; now 
you take a turn," suggested Martha, 
rising from her knees to make room for 
George to take her place before the 
book. 

"Fd rather read about his crossing 
the Delaware and the big battles in the 
Revolution," said George, turning the 



DELIGHTFUL IMPRISONMENT 141 

pages over and over to find the place 
he wished. 

"We ought to read right along, and 
not jump from place to place as you 
do," objected Martha. 

"Oh, that's all right for school, but 
when we are going to be amused we 
ought to find enjoyable ways — not like 
lessons," replied George. 

A step on the floor outside and a 
hand at the door-knob dispersed all 
thought of reading, however, and the 
two prisoners jumped up to find out 
who was coming to see them. 

A fuzzy little dark head popped in 
iat the crack of the door and Jim whis- 
pered : 

"S-sh! Ah got a bag uv ginger- 
snaps. Mah mammy guv 'em t' me t' 
brung up heah fer us all." 

"Oh, goody! goody! Come over by 
the window and let's eat 'em," said 
Martha eagerly. 

So the book was forgotten for the 
time, while Jim regaled his companions 
with the results of his mammy's splen- 
did art. 



CHAPTER IX 

THE EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 

WHEN the last crumb of the gin- 
ger-snaps was gone, the three 
children jumped up and 
looked around for a suggestion of en- 
tertainment. 

"Jim, did you ever see the pictures 
in this big book?" asked Martha, going 
to the opened volume of history. 

"No'm, Ah hain't never see'd any- 
thin' but them pickshers in mah culler 
book what yer granny guv me." 

"Oh, don't waste time showing Jim 
that book now — let me show him some 
of the old war relics In this chest," 
called George, lifting the lid of the 
long box. 

The three children admired or 
laughed at the odd-looking clothes 
found in the chest, and then Martha 
raised the lid of an old hair-trunk that 

142 



EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 143 

stood close to the chest. She had peeped 
into it the day of the French and Eng- 
lish battle, but being called to help with 
the uniforms, had forgotten it again. 

The first thing she found was an old 
yellow linen slip-cover, spread out so 
that it covered the entire top of the 
trunk. But something inside was care- 
fully pinned up, and a string at the 
open end tied the contents safely within. 

Martha removed the pins and untied 
the strings and lifted one side of the 
linen bag. But whatever was carefully 
protected by soft paper wrappers with- 
in, could not be seen without removing 
the entire package from the old slip- 
cover. So the* bag was carried to the 
settle and George helped to slide the 
package out. 

More pins and strings held the paper 
about something soft and swishy. 

"Ooh-ah ! isn't it lovely !" sighed Mar- 
tha, clasping her hands. 

"For a girl — ^ye-es, it is pretty!" 
George grudged. 

"Ah tink it am de weddin' dress uv 
some gran'mother," remarked Jim, 



144 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

placing his dirty hands behind him to 
insure their not touching the shimmer- 
ing, soft silk dress that lay before them. 

"I have an idea!" suddenly exclaimed 
Martha. 

"What is it?" asked George, looking 
at her curiously. 

"Won't that make the most beautiful- 
est dress for Martha Custis to get mar- 
ried in?" said Martha, in a dramatic 
manner. 

"Oh!" was all the two boys dared to 
say at the idea. 

"And I'll wear curls made of long 
shavings, and a fan — and maybe I can 
borrow mother's satin evening slippers ! 
What will you wear at the wedding, 
George?" said Martha excitedly. 

"I don't know. Let's open this and 
see how long it will be. You don't 
want to play getting married to-day, 
do you?" ventured George. 

"Oh, no ! We have to have you come 
and visit me and fall in love, and then 
ask me to marry you, you know," said 
Martha, with great superiority natural 
to her sex. 



EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 145 

"I don't want to go through all 
that tom-f oolery ! Let's get John over 
and just play getting married. Jim can 
get out and run over for John in some 
way or other. ^Vill you, Jim?" asked 
George. 

"Ah will ef mah granny don' ketch 
me runnin' out de areaway," agreed 
Jim. 

"Say, Martha, why not let Jim down 
out of the window?" cried George, with 
sudden inspiration. 

"Oh, fine! How can we do it?" 

"Ah, say! Ah did'en 'gree t' fall 
down free stories!" objected the scape- 
goat of the Washington war-parties. 

"Don't be afraid, Jim! ,You won't 
have to fall if you do as we tell you," 
consoled George. 

"Yeh! Dat's what yo' all said when 
Ah played Injun in dat Burdock fight, 
an' den Ah got a wholloping from bof 
sides — ^mah mammy an' mah daddy, 
when dey hearn tell how Ah had t' 
scalp Burdock t' win de fight fer de; 
French!" grumbled Jim. 

"Oh, that was different! This is only 



,146 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

an easy way for you to get away from, 
here and look for John, you see," ex- 
plained George anxiously. 

Martha had been gazing down, and 
now she turned to say: "We will have 
to tie rope or strips of sheets together 
to let him down like firemen do, you 
know." 

Immediately George began seeking 
for a rope, and fortunately for the fu- 
ture experiences of the "Little Wash- 
ingtons" he found a great coil of rope 
that was placed near the window to use 
in case of fire. One end was secured 
to an iron ring in the beam under the 
:window casing. 

"Oh, what luck! Just the thing," 
cried George, as he began unwinding 
the rope. 

"Here now, Jim, stand over here by 
the window while we tie you up. And 
remember — run right over to John's 
and tell him to come over and play 
minister for us to get married," said 
George, as he reached the end of the 
rope. 

"No, no — ^not to get married so 



EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 147 

quick! Only to play being your step- 
son," corrected Martha. 

"How can he be my step-son if you 
won't get married?/' said George scorn- 
fully. 

"Ah reckon de ting t' do is fer me 
t' git John heah an' let yo' all ack what 
yo' lak afterward," mumbled Jim, with 
one of his rare spells of brilliancy. 

"Yes, that's the thing to do!" ap- 
proved Martha. 

George lost no time in tying the rope 
about Jim's slim little waist, but to make 
doubly sure that it would not slip, the 
messenger-to-be begged his companions 
to wind it about again and again. Thus, 
when Jim was pronounced ready to de- 
scend via the aerial route, he looked 
more like a rope-bound mummy than a 
live boy. 

"Safe and sure as this floor !" bragged 
George, admiring his handiwork. 

"Hurry up and let him down or 
some one will come up and stop us!" 
warned Martha. 

Between them, George and Martha; 
dragged the heavy window settle away 



,148 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

and Jim crawled out on the sill to look 
down. 

"Ah wish it war higher up!" sighed 
he. 

"Higher up! Aren't three stories 
high enough?" cried George, taken 
back for once by Jim's courage. 

"Ah means dat Ah wish dat grass 
war higher up — 'bout free feet under 
this winder," explained Jim dolefully. 

His two conspirators exchanged 
glances, and George motioned Martha 
to act quickly or Jim would bolt. 

Without further preliminaries, Jim 
was shoved over the window-sill and 
told to "hold fast" to the rope till his 
feet touched the ground. Instinctively, 
the victim clutched at the rope above 
his head as he felt himself sliding off 
of the shingled eaves, and it was well 
he did so at the time. 

Neither one of the plotters had 
stopped to consider that the rope wound 
about Jim's body might suddenly un- 
wind with the weight hanging at its 
end, thus whirling the boy around and 
around, and swiftly jerking him up the 



EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 149 

moment the coil had found its resist- 
ance by the loop tied about the body. 
But Jim's hold on the rope above his 
head prevented any strain from making 
the rope unwind itself as the weight 
was lowered. 

George and Martha found that Jim, 
although light in weight and small of 
size, was rather heavy when hung from 
an attic window. The force of gravi- 
tation from that height added consider- 
ably to his weight, but the children did 
not think of this. 

"Gracious, Martha ! Brace your feet 
against this beam or he'll slip!" cried 
George, the beads of moisture starting 
on his forehead. 

"Don't you think he is 'most down?" 
breathed Martha uncomfortably. 

"I'll hang on to him while you look 
— be quick about it, though!" ordered 
George, getting an extra twist of the 
rope about his wrist and bending back 
on the rope. 

Martha climbed up on the settle, and 
looking from the window, she saw Jim 
try to get a better hold on the rope with 



150 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

one hand that was being chafed. He 
was about opposite the veranda roof 
at the time. 

As she looked he began gyrating fu- 
riously, and as he whirled he seemed 
to drop. Martha screamed frantically, 
making George pull the harder to hold 
up the rope — for he feared from the 
sudden laxity on his end, that the rope 
had slipped in some manner. 

Even as Martha yelled, Jim came to 
the end of his whirl, and he was yanked 
to a halt by the tautness of the rope 
gripped by George in the attic. From 
the resistance, he was suddenly stopped 
within two feet of the ground. The 
loop tied under his arms had tightened 
by the jerk upon it, so that he could 
not move, and could scarcely breathe. 

At the time the rope began to un- 
wind itself from Jim's body, George 
was stretched almost flat upon his back 
with the strain he was bringing on his 
iend of the rope. George was just go- 
ing to ease his hold when the laxness 
suddenly ceased and the yank came, so 
that he was unceremoniously pulled to 



EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 151 

the window and had it not been for the 
wall, he might have been made to fol- 
low Jim's descent. 

Simultaneously with George's con- 
tact with the wall, Jim dropped the 
rest of the way — about two feet from 
the grass, and sprawled out, face down, 
on Mother Earth. 

By this time Martha was speechless 
from fright, and George, while he 
freed his skinned wrist of the rope, 
begged for word about Jim, but to no 
avail. His sister could not utter a 
sound. 

The moment George saw Jim 
stretched on the grass, he thought he 
had fallen, so rushing wildly from the 
attic, he ran down the stairs, colliding 
with his grandmother, who called to 
know "What now?" 

On, on, down to the hall and out of 
the side door went George, picturing 
himself in a doomed man's cell — 
doomed for murder in the first degree. 

As George reached the prostrate boy, 
Jim discovered he was not dead, but 
safely reposing on the ground, so he 



152 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

dared to open his eyes and take a deep 
breath. 

"Ah-umm!" sighed Jim, as the sweet 
fresh air filled his lungs, and his eyes 
beheld at close range the damp, greeri 
blades of close-cropped lawn-grass. 

"Jim! Jim! are you dead?" cried! 
George, on his knees beside the boy. 

"Ya-as, Ah am — an' it's all yo' fault, 
too !" whimpered Jim, feeling a sudden 
pity at the thought of himself as a pos- 
sible angel, leaving his mammy on earth 
to cry for him. 

"Oh, Jim, forgive me — us, I mean! 
Martha and I never dreamed you were 
going to let go like you did!" 

"Ah won't never forgive yo' all, cuz 
Ah mought hab been killed an' who 
could save me?" howled the boy. 

George resented this inference. "We 
didn't do it ! You just went and let go, 
and then you spun around like we do 
in the swing when we play flying and 
twist the swing-ropes all up tight!" 

"Diden yo leg'go your end?" ques- 
tioned Jim, sitting upright to stare un- 
believingly. 



EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 153 

! 

" 'Course not ! Look at my poor 
wrists ! Did I let go and wear the skin 
to the bone — did I?" cried George, 
holding up his hands to Jim's gaze. 

"Nah — Ah reckon yo' diden — but 
whad was it?" 

"Yourself, 'cause you let go of the 
rope when you ought to have gripped 
it like anything!" 

Before further explanations could be 
given, Martha, followed by grand- 
mother with her knitting (she had 
dropped a whole row of stitches in the 
excitement), nurse holding the baby at 
a dangerous angle, mammy with bread- 
dough clinging to her hands, and 
mother holding her hat, which she had 
just removed upon coming indoors, 
crowded about the two boys — one still 
tied in the rope. 

Every one saw the rope, followed its 
length to the top story, and then let 
their eyes lower again to the two silent 
boys gazing speechless at each other. 

"What is this?" demanded Mrs. 
Parke. 

"Jim, what yo' goin' for to dor^ 



154 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

Clim' dat house an' git in dat attic 
whar dem chilluns wuz prisoners?" 
came from Jim's mammy, with dire 
meaning in her tones. 

Before any one of the three culprits 
could open their lips to explain, mammy 
had Jim out of the coil, and was yank- 
ing him by the collar of his loose shirt, 
in the direction of the areaway, there 
to do penance for trying to climb a 
rope. 

Mrs. Parke ordered mammy and 
nurse to take charge of the two children 
who had broken their pledge to remain 
all day in the attic. They were re- 
manded to two separate store-room clos- 
ets, where no window or rope could 
offer temptations. Only a high tran- 
som window for light and air was in 
these closets. 

As no explanations would be heard, 
Martha and George, to say nothing of 
innocent Jim, felt they were cruelly 
misunderstood. And Jim, as he sat in 
a corner of the kitchen tied to the 
wooden stool with a wash-line, wished 
with all the fervor in his trembling lit- 



EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 155 

tie body that he had really and truly 
gone to heaven when the rope let him 
down to earth. 

"Reckon dat mammy would feel dif- 
ferent ef Ah wuz climin' dem clouds 
playin* a lil' harp," whimpered Jim to 
himself, tears crowding from his round 
black eyes as he pictured himself thus. 

"Whad dat yo' mumblin' to yo'self in 
dat cornah?" threatened his mammy. 

"Nuffin ! Ah jes' wishin' Ah'd gone 
daid dis time, den yo' woulden had no 
Jimmy t' shake an' tie up to de floor!" 
wailed he. 

"Sea heah, boy, don' yo' go an' 'dulge 
dem fool notions er Ah'll hep yo' cry 
dem away jes as soon as dis bread is 
bakin'," came ominously from his re- 
spected parent. So Jim drooped silently 
in the corner, wondering if his com- 
panions-in-misery were getting all that 
he hoped was coming to them. 

But Jim did not hear of their form of 
punishment until some time later, be- 
cause other exciting events crowded 
such past and already forgotten memo- 
ries from mind. 



m THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

That evening at dinner, when the two 
culprits had been bathed and dressed, 
and ready to meet their father, and Jim 
had been treated to bread and molasses 
before going to bed, Mr. Parke an- 
nounced wonderful news. 

"Who do you think called me up on» 
the telephone to-day?" said he, looking 
at George and Martha. 

"The constable?" gasped George 
fearfully. 

His father threw back his head and 
laughed loudly, but Mrs. Parke 
watched the children with an expres- 
sion of understanding. 

"Of course not! Have you two been 
meriting arrest again?" 

"No, but some folks think we have !" 
said George, sending his mother a pity- 
ing look. 

"Well, I'm glad you are safe for the 
time being," laughed Mr. Parke, see- 
ing the glance. "But this is a fine bit 
of news for you and Martha." 

No one seemed able to guess the 
secret, so Mr. Parke had to tell them. 

"My sister and her two children are 



EFFECTS OF PRISON LIFE 157 

coming from Philadelphia to spend a 
few weeks with us — how about it?" 

Before Mr. Parke had quite finished 
his sentence, George and Martha were 
up and over at his side, each hugging 
him from his and her vantage point. 
Mrs. Parke, too, was mildly enthused, 
and when one could be heard again, 
remarked : 

"Oh, I'm so glad, Tom, as those chil- 
dren were always such models of be- 
havior ! Now George and Martha will 
see what quiet, obedient youngsters are 
like!" 

"Don't be so sure of that, Kate. Sis- 
ter is now in Washington, and 'phoned 
me from there. She says that Jack and 
Anne are all she can manage these 
days, and she hoped George and Mar- 
tha would be able to interest them in 
other things besides pranks and play." 

This desirable news brought the eyes 
of George and Martha to meet each 
other, and the latter said in a whisper: 
"How about that wedding, then?" 

"Just the thing — and the courtship, 
don't forget that." 



158 THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

"What is this you're planning now?" 
asked Mrs. Parke. 

"Oh, just a nice, quiet game," said 
both children, nodding understandingly 
at each other. 

"Well, I'm relieved to hear that. We 
want you to play quiet, polite games 
with your little cousins when they are 
here," replied Mr. Parke, with a sigh. 

So the "Little Washingtons" went to 
bed to dream of all the things they 
would do when Jack and Anne Davis 
would be their guests. 

And how they carried out their plans 
will be told in their next book, called 
"The Little Washingtons' Relatives." 



THE END 



THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 
SERIES 

By LILLIAN ELIZABETH ROY 

Handsomely Bound. Colored Wrappers. Illustrated. 
For Children 6 to 12 Years 

This series presents early American history in a manner 
that impresses the young readers. Because of George and 
Martha Washington Parke, two young descendants of the 
famous General Washington, these stories follow exactly 
the life of the great American, by means of playing they 
act the life of the Washingtons, both in battles and in 
society. 

THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS 

Their thrilling battles and expeditions generally end in '* punishment " 
lessons read by Mrs. Parke from the " Life of Washington/' The culprits 
listen intently, for this reading generally gives them new ideas for further 
games of Indian warfare and Colonists' battles. 

THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS RELATIVES 

\ The Davis children visit the Parke home and join zealously in the games 
of playing General Washington. So zealously, in fact, that little Jim 
almost loses his scalp. 

THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS' TRAVELS 

' The children wage a fierce battle upon the roof of a hotel in New York 
City. Then, visiting the Davis home in Philadelphia, the patriotic Wash^ 
ingtons vanquish the Hessians on a battle-field in the empty lot back of 
the Davis property. 

THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS AT SCHOOL 

After the school-house battle the Washingtons discover a band of gyp^ 
sies camping near the back road to their homes and incidentally they secure 
the stolen horse which the gypsies had taken from the " butter and egg 
farmer" of the Parkes. 

THE LITTLE WASHINGTONS' HOLIDAYS 

They spend a pleasant summer on two adjoining farms in Vermont 
During the voyage they try to capture a "frigate" but little Jim is caught 
and about to be punished by the Captain when his confederates hasten in 
and save him. 

GROSSET & DUNLAP, Publishers, NEW YORK 



LITTLE JACK RABBIT 
BOOKS 

(Trademark Registered) 

By DAVID CORY 

Author of LITTLE JOURf^EYS TO HAPPYLAND 
Colored Wrappers With Text Ulustratioais 

A new and unique series about the furred and feathered 
little people of the wood and meadow. 

Children will eagerly follow the doings of little Jack 
Rabbit, who, every morning as soon as he has polished the 
front door knob and fed the canary, sets out from his little 
house in the bramble patch to meet his friends in the Shady 
Forest and Sunny Meadow. And the clever way he es- 
capes from his three enemies, Danny Fox, Mr. Wicked 
Weasel and Hungry Hawk will delight the youngsters. 

LITTLE JACK RABBIT'S ADVENTURES 
LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND DANNY FOX 
LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND THE SQUIRREL 

BROTHERS 
LITTLE JACK RABMT AND CHIPPY CHIPMUNK 
LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND THE BIG BROWN 

BEAR 
LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND UNCLE JOHN HARE 
LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND PROFESSOR CROW 
LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND OLD MAN WEASEL 
LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND MR. WICKED WOLF 
LITTLE JACK RABBIT AND HUNGRY HAWK 

Grosset & DuNLAP, Publishers, New York 



:^^ •^^•^^V' JC 



P^\^ 



^'V 






/?:.,